Read to find out how much the MP is going to be paid by the reality TV series, and the controversy that ultimately ensued.
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! may have just gotten one of the most controversial contestants after it was announced that the former Conservative party member and MP of West Suffolk, Matt Hancock is gearing up to take part in the 2022 edition of the show.
It is reported that the showrunners asked Hancock to be a part of the show multiple times a week and he was offered a hefty sum for it, so how much is the MP earning for his attendance?
Who is Matt Hancock?
Born to Michael and Shirley Hancock on 2 October, 1978, the MP entered the political world over twenty years ago in 1999 when he became a part of the Conservative party. Prior to entering politics, he worked for the Bank of England as an economist, reports Yahoo News.
It wasn't until 2010 that he was voted the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, and subsequently, in 2015, he took up the position of Minister for the Cabinet under David Cameron. During Theresa May's premiership, he held the position of Culture Secretary and was later promoted to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
After a failed bid to take up the PM's seat after May's exit in 2019, which was instead taken up by Boris Johnson, Hancock became known for his role in attempting to control the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, for the most part unsuccessfully.
Numerous controversies followed during this time period, with Reuters reporting on his department inflating testing numbers and The Independent later reporting on poorly carried out measures to protect the elderly and vulnerable, amongst many other issues.
Ultimately, his resignation followed after it was revealed that the MP was having an affair with the advisor Gina Coladangelo, with The Sun publishing photos of them at Hancock's Whitehall office. It was at this time the MP was cautioning the public to maintain social distancing, while he was breaching the social guidelines, which prompted his resignation.
Politician or celebrity?
Shortly after it was announced that Hancock was going to take part in the 2022 edition of I'm a Celebrity, the MP was suspended from the Conservative party and will now sit in the House of Commons as an independent, reports BBC. The reason stated for the suspension is that Hancock chose to take part in the series while parliament is sitting, particularly during a time when the nation is in a disarray.
The Campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice tweeted:
Matt Hancock isn't a 'celebrity', he's the former 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.
Additionally, the official spokesperson for Rishi Sunak said:
The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country, MPs should be working hard for their constituents, whether that is in the House or in their constituency.
The spokesman further added that the PM was 'unlikely' to watch how Hancock was going to fare in the show. Additionally, BBC reports that constituents of West Suffolk expressed that Hancock should've focused on tackling local issues instead of jumping onto a Reality TV show.
How much is he getting paid?
Adding to the controversies, The Sun reports that Hancock is going to be paid £400,000 for attending the show, making him one of the highest-paid individuals to attend the series. The general public has rebuked this revelation, with most stating that he doesn't deserve this after failing as a Health Minister, and additionally criticizing the fact that despite the suspension, he would still be paid £84,144 for being an MP.
That being said, a spokesperson for Hancock said:
Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and causes supporting dyslexia off the back of his appearance. He will also declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal.
This is an amazing opportunity to engage with the public and talk about issues he really cares about – including his dyslexia campaign. Matt is still working on constituency matters and will continue to do so up until he goes into the jungle. Producers have agreed that Matt can communicate with his team throughout the show if there’s an urgent constituency matter.
With politicians across the board objecting to his actions, in addition to fans of I'm a Celebrity calling for his removal, it remains to be seen how Hancock is going to fare in the show and what he's going to do once he returns to the UK after it.