I'm A Celeb: Matt Hancock burns the camp's rice
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Matt Hancock’s appearance on ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here’ has not improved how he is seen by the public, a poll has found. A Techne UK survey for Express.co.uk asked the public whether the former Health Secretary’s appearance on the hit TV show has improved his reputation.
A brutal 81 percent of people said it has not improved his reputation, with just 11 percent of people saying it has.
Some eight percent of people said they don’t know.
There was not much difference of opinion between Conservative and Labour voters, with opinions being just marginally more positive among 2019 Conservative voters.
Of those who voted Conservative in the 2019 elections, nine percent said his ‘I’m a Celeb’ appearance had improved his reputation, while 79 percent said it had not.
Of those who voted for the Labour party in 2019, six percent said his reputation had improved while 79 percent said it had not.
Mr Hancock entered the jungle earlier this month, saying he wanted to raise awareness for dyslexia.
Last night, he reached the final five contestants on the show after Radio DJ Chris Moyles was evicted.
Mr Hancock was stripped of the Conservative whip after joining the show, with chief whip Simon Hart saying: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”
The former health secretary has faced a backlash for his appearance on the reality show.
Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign, said: “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.
“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 person he is.”
And Joe Ventre of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the “grubby spectacle will leave a bad taste in the mouths of his constituents”.
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Mr Ventre added: “Hancock shouldn’t be entitled to a penny of taxpayers’ money in salary or expenses while he’s living it large in the jungle.”
Earlier this week, Mr Hancock was found to have broken Government rules by not consulting Parliament’s anti-corruption watchdog before appearing on the show.
Lord Pickles, the Tory chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) – which advises on post-ministerial jobs – informed Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden of the breach in a letter on Wednesday, saying he was writing to bring to Mr Dowden’s attention “a breach of the Government’s Business Appointment Rules”.
He said: “Mr Hancock did not seek Acoba’s advice before signing up to two television series, ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins.”
Under the Government’s Business Appointment Rues, Mr Hancock should have sought clearance from Acoba for any new employment or appointments he takes on within two years of leaving office.
Any disciplinary action would be decided by the Cabinet Office, but Lord Pickles said he believed further action would be “disproportionate”.
Mr Hancock previously claimed in a letter to Lord Pickles that he did not believe he needed to ask the body’s permission for either show “as the guidelines state that one-off media appearances such as these do not count as an appointment or employment”.
But, responding to Mr Hancock, Lord Pickles said: “The rules are clear that an application is required where individuals plan a series of media activities and it is for Acoba to assess the associated risks.
“As such, failing to seek and await advice before these roles were announced or taken up in this case is a breach of the Government’s rules and the requirements set out in the ministerial code.”
Referring to possible sanctions for Mr Hancock in his letter to Mr Dowden, Lord Pickles said: “It is a matter for you to decide what appropriate action to take.
“However, given the transparent nature of Mr Hancock’s role which is limited to appearing on these shows… I believe it would be disproportionate to take any further action in this case.”
A spokesperson for Mr Hancock said: “The Acoba website clearly states that it does not regard media appearances as an appointment or employment.
“The guidance on the website was followed in good faith.”
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