Council calls for Matt Hancock to resign after I'm a Celebrity appearance

Matt Hancock speaking to Boy George in the I'm A Celebrity... jungle. Credit: ITV / Shuttershock
Matt Hancock proved popular with voters on the show, finishing third. Credit: PA

A town council in MP Matt Hancock’s constituency has called for him to resign, saying his pursuit of celebrity is interfering with his ability to represent his constituency.

The former health secretary sparked a backlash after flying to Australia to take part in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, finishing the show in third place on Sunday.

Councillor Lisa Crissall, who proposed the motion for Newmarket Town Council to call for his resignation, said constituents were "extremely let down" by the MP’s decision to appear on the reality show.

“We are led to believe he would prefer his career path to be as a 'celebrity'  instead of fulfilling his role as Member of Parliament for West Suffolk,” the town councillor said. 

She added: “We would ask that he resign his seat and allow someone who cares about their constituents to fulfil the role.”

Mr Hancock finished third on the popular reality show, having been voted to complete many of its famous Bushtucker Trials by the public.

His decision to enter the jungle attracted derision from his voters, many of whom felt he should be fighting their corner in Westminster rather than competing for votes from viewers.

He faces an uncertain political future when he returns to Westminster. After losing the Conservative whip for his trip down under, it is unclear whether that will be restored. 

On Monday, business secretary Grant Shapps suggested that the West Suffolk MP's career in parliament is "pretty much done".

Shapps told Times Radio: "I do think the right place for him to be is in Parliament looking after his constituents. It’s a very hard job to do if you’re completely out of touch.”

Mr Hancock recognised his appearance on the show was “controversial” during an interview with presenters Ant and Dec.

“I know that it was controversial me coming here, I know some people said people in your position shouldn’t put themselves in embarrassing situations,” the MP said.

“But we’re all human and we all put ourselves in it.”

He stressed: “We are normal people.”

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