A PETITION to remove Matt Hancock from I’m A Celebrity has hit 18,000 signatures as furious families team up to get him axed.
Pressure group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice launched the petition yesterday, after The Sun exclusively revealed the former Health Secretary had signed up and will likely draw a staggering appearance fee.
Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock landed in Brisbane today ahead of his appearance in I’m A CelebrityCredit: Brian Roberts
Furious families want the former health secretary axed from the showCredit: Reuters
The petition tells readers: “Matt Hancock isn’t ‘a celebrity’ he’s the health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules.
“The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in Government says it all about the sort of his person he is.
“Families were ripped apart by Matt Hancock’s actions, and turning on the TV to see him being paraded around as a joke is sickening.
“If he had any respect for families who lost loved ones to Covid-19, he would be sharing his private emails with the Covid Inquiry, not eating bugs on TV.
“Then again, perhaps if those emails came to light no TV station would touch him with a barge pole.
“ITV should do the decent thing and remove him from the programme.
“Over 200,000 people lost their lives to Covid-19 across the UK.”
The petition statement continues: “Matt Hancock was at the very centre of decisions such as locking down late, allowing large scale sporting events to go ahead as the virus ran rampant and failed to get our healthcare workers the PPE they needed.
“On top of that he was fired after breaking the rules he helped set.
“His profiteering and shameless search for publicity in the run up to his book launch is another insult to already grieving families.”
The politician, who had to resign after The Sun exposed him for breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair in the office, will be the 12th star to go into the jungle.
Writing in The Sun, Mr Hancock explained that he has chosen to swap Westminster for the jungle in order to “talk directly to people who aren’t always interested in politics”.
He added: “While some will say reality TV should be beneath a politician, I think we’ve got to go to where the people gather.”
But many I’m A Celeb fans have since vowed to boycott the 2022 series.
One penned: “Which thoughtless moron thought it would be a good idea? He’s getting paid a wedge too. Makes your blood boil… really want to watch it but no way should that cretin be involved.”
Another said on Twitter: “Couldn’t possibly watch the egotistical horror of Matt Hancock on #ImACeleb You’ve got to question that choice.”
And a third said: “Matt Hancock cashing in on the death of 1000’s of people on his watch and having an affair in the public eye. Hideous bloke.”
And a fourth said: “I adore im a celeb but don’t know if I will watch it if Matt Hancock is in there.”
One local raged at the ex-Minister on Facebook: “How can you justify flying off to Australia to do a reality TV show when you are supposed to be here working for the constituents you represent?
“You are an absolute disgrace.”
Yesterday afternoon Mr Hancock had the Tory whip removed. This means he will not be able to vote in Parliament as a Tory, but will remain a member of the party.
Westminster sources say Mr Hancock sprung the I’m A Celeb news on stunned Tory colleagues after not getting promoted in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s reshuffle late last week.
He had also been tipped to run for boss of the powerful House of Commons Treasury committee, but unexpectedly pulled out of that race on Monday.
Fellow Tory Nadine Dorries had the whip stripped in 2013 for appearing on the show during Commons time.
A No10 spokesperson said: “The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents whether that’s in the House or indeed in their constituencies.”
The spokesperson added that it’s “unlikely” Mr Sunak will tune in to watch Mr Hancock eat bugs.
Britain’s former Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock walks with aide Gina Coladangelo in 2019. The Sun later exposed him for breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair with GinaCredit: Reuters
Mr Hancock with the new Prime Minister last weekCredit: pixel8000
The rest of Mr Hancock’s campmatesCredit: ITV
Matt Hancock’s rise, fall and TV bid
MAY 2010: Matt Hancock becomes Tory MP for West Suffolk.
JANUARY 2018: Gets his first Cabinet job as Culture Secretary.
JULY 2018: Promoted to Health Secretary.
JUNE 2019: Runs to be PM after Theresa May quits but pulls out after failing to get enough support.
MARCH 2020: Becomes face of the pandemic, fronting press conferences telling Brits to stay home to save lives — but tests positive for Covid along with then-PM Boris Johnson.
JUNE 2021: The Sun reveals his affair with adviser Gina Coladangelo. He eventually quits his job and separates from wife Martha.
SEPTEMBER 2022: Signs up for next series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
OCTOBER 2022: Snubbed by new PM Rishi Sunak for a Cabinet job.
NOVEMBER 2022: The Sun reveals he will enter the jungle. PM suspends Tory whip.