Matt Hancock to face permanent exodus from Tories over I’m a Celeb

I’m A Celeb: Matt Hancock will be ‘everyone’s toy’ says Danny Miller

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Exclusive Ipsos polling shows a strong majority of people think Mr Hancock should quit as MP if he wants to be a contestant on the jungle-based reality TV show.

A Conservative MP who won a seat formerly held by Labour at the last election said Mr Hancock now stands no chance of returning to frontline politics.

He said: “There is no coming back for him now.”

However, he is concerned that Mr Hancock will appear on more game shows.

He said: “The problem is, once he comes back he’s probably going to do more things like this and it’s all going to spiral.”

Nearly two out of three people (64 per cent) told Ipsos the former Conservative high-flyer had made the wrong decision by going on I’m A Celebrity, with just 17 percent saying going on the show was the right choice.

The strongest opposition was among people who voted Tory at the last election, with 72 per cent saying he should not be taking part in the long-running show. This was the view of 69 per cent of Labour voters and 68 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters.

Almost six out of 10 respondents (59 per cent) said he should have to resign. Just 22 per cent said he should not have to quit.

Men were more likely to think the West Suffolk MP should stand down (62 per cent) than women (56 per cent).

Remain voters were slightly more likely to say he should quit (64 per cent) than Leave voters (60 per cent).

A former minister was appalled at Mr Hancock’s decision to fly to Australia to appear on the programme at a time when the country faces profound economic challenges rather than attend the Commons.

He said: “The voters elect us to do a job. I’m sorry, part of the job is working here.

“The worst thing about this is it makes all of us look bad.”

However, a former Tory minister had some sympathy for Mr Hancock, who plans to make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and also back causes supporting dyslexia.

Mr Hancock’s spokesman has described the appearance as “an amazing opportunity to engage with the public and talk about issues he really cares about”.

The MP said: “I wouldn’t have done it but it’s not the worst thing in the world for politicians to connect with real people from time to time.” 

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