Matt Hancock’s justification for taking part in I’m a Celebrity while still a serving politician has prompted an amazing reaction from campmate Charlene White.
The former Tory health secretary made his first appearance in the jungle on Monday night, much to the bemusement of stars on the show, as he suggested he was only there because there is now “stability” in UK politics.
Before joining the ITV programme, the West Suffolk MP had come under fire for his decision to travel to Australia, especially since parliament is still sitting.
At one point, he was challenged by White, a journalist and TV presenter, about the move.
“Why are you here?,” she asked.
Hancock replied earnestly: “There are so few ways in which politicians can show that we are human beings.”
White then shot a look – in silence – that spoke volumes.
Charlene White: "Why are you here?"
Matt Hancock: "There are so few ways in which politicians can show that we are human beings."
*Charlene White does a stare for a nation* pic.twitter.com/vMsJnNacIS
— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) November 9, 2022
She continued to press Hancock on the public reaction to his decision.
Hancock had told White: “If I can use this to sort of peel myself back a bit and just be me, it’s better.”
She replied: “But I can imagine it would not have gone down well at all at home? You have to expect that because parliament is still sitting, we’re not in recess, you know…?”
He told her: “I genuinely think that because we’ve now got sort of stability, that is…”
White said: “We’ve had stability for all of five minutes, Matt.”
Hancock replied: “Rishi’s great, he’ll be fine.”
When Matt Hancock says he wants to show politicians are "human beings". (Photo: ITV)
Asked by White if he could understand if people were not happy about his appearance, he said: “I understand that but I also.. of course I get that, right. But I also just think that sometimes you’ve got to do things differently.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak was among those to join the criticism of Hancock, who had the Conservative Party whip removed following the announcement that he would be participating.
The prime minister said he was “very disappointed” in the MP’s decision.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.