Matt Hancock is only “squiring around with maggots” on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! for money, Labour’s Angela Rayner has said.
Labour’s deputy leader scoffed at the Conservative MP’s claim to want to raise awareness about dyslexia and show the positive side of having the learning difficulty.
Suggesting Mr Hancock was in it for the cash – with his reported fee at £400,000 – Ms Rayner said: “What £400,000 figure attracted you to go into jungle?”
She told ITV’s This Morning: “I don’t think you should be squirming around with maggots when he’s paid to do a job for his constituents. I don’t see it as something … that is going to give platform for a serious political debate.”
Ms Rayner said I’m a Celebrity viewers “just want to see him eat a kangaroo’s anus” and were not interested in his views on politics or dyslexia.
The Labour also said many who lost loved ones during the Covid pandemic were entitled to be “angry” at the former health secretary – given the Covid-19 public inquiry is now under way.
“I also think it’s really offensive when … serious questions. People will be rightly angry when he’s laughing and joking in the jungle when they’re thinking well what did you do to protect my loved one during that period.”
Mr Hancock was seen crawling through dark tunnels, wading through sludge and insects during his first bushtucker trial on the ITV reality show.
A teaser shared ahead of Wednesday night’s show showed the former health secretary screaming as insects and thick liquid are poured on him from above.
It comes as Haverhill Town Council in Mr Hancock’s West Suffolk constituency asked him to “do the honourable thing and resign your seat”.
A majority of members on the council voted to express their displeasure at Mr Hancock’s move decision.
A letter the council clerk asked the MP to “do the honourable thing and resign your seat so you can follow your chosen path and clear the pitch for someone who wants to serve the people of West Suffolk”.
The Tory MP had already had the Conservative whip removed and Rishi Sunak has also expressed his “disappointment” at his decision to sign up for the show.
But Mr Hancock insisted he wanted to engage people in politics, and said that after the show he plans to return to Suffolk to hold a surgery with his constituents there.
He said: “There are lots of different ways to communicate with the public and we [politicians] are wrong if we think you can only do that on the traditional political shows where you are mainly only talking to people who take an active interest in politics.”