Denise Welch emotionally hits out at Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock claimed thousands of pounds in rent whilst he was earning £320,000 during his stint in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! The former Health Secretary claimed £3,000 on his flat during November last year when spent 18 days in the Australian jungle before coming third in the ITV series, the Mirror reports.
MPs are entitled to claim rent while on a leave of absence under Parliamentary rules but it is likely to anger some people as the MP remained earning his £84,144 a year salary during the show.
The MP for West Suffolk chose to donate £10,000, or 3 percent, of his appearance fee from the show to charity.
Figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) show Mr Hancock claimed £3,300 in rent on November 17 and another £3,300 on December 20.
Mr Hancock was paid a total of £320,000 for his appearance on Im A Celebrity.
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain blasted the MP saying he “can’t have it both ways”.
She said: “This is a slap in the face for all those hard-working families coping with the cost-of-living crisis.
“Matt Hancock insists he is a normal person now, but no normal hard-working person would ever try to get away with claiming this.
“He can’t have it both ways. He can’t rake in big sums for a TV show where he did no work for his constituents and still expect to claim these kind of expenses.
“He should pay back that month’s rent, which is still just a tiny fraction of his earnings from I’m A Celeb.”
The IPSA spokesperson said: “IPSA continues to cover costs for MPs during periods of absence from Parliament.”
The latest cache of expense payments shows Mr Hancock had not made any repayments for November by the end of January.
A spokesperson from Mr Hancock’s office said: “You can’t stop a tenancy for one month. All Matt’s declarations are made properly and are available for anyone to see.”
As a sitting MP Mr Hancocks decision to enter the jungle was met with a host of controversy.
The move was criticised by several MP’s including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who said he was “disappointed”.
More than 1,000 complaints were made to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom over his participation.
Mr Hancock came third in the show being actor Owen Warner and footballer Jill Scott.
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