Former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner Georgia Toffolo has slammed Matt Hancock for signing up for the reality show saying she has “never been more embarrassed about the Conservative Party”.
The Made In Chelsea star, 28, has reportedly been a member of the Tory Party since she was a teenager and formed an unlikely friendship with former prime minister Boris Johnson’s father Stanley when they were campmates in the jungle in 2017.
Appearing on This Morning on Friday alongside other former contestants Peter Andre and Jake Quickenden to discuss the upcoming series starting on Sunday, Toffolo was the latest to take aim at the former health secretary for joining the show at a time when Parliament is sitting.
Asked about her opinion of Hancock participating, she admitted she was normally “pretty soft” on the Tories but said: “I think this is disgraceful”.
Referring to Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt’s stint on ITV’s former reality series Splash!, she continued: “I think someone like Penny Mordaunt going and doing Splash all those years ago in 2014, she donated all of her fee to the local lido, it saved the lido – brilliant.
“What Matt is doing is I think really showing to the country that the man who was meant to be in control of our health going through the pandemic, not only did he cheat on his wife and get caught, he’s now leaving his constituents to go to Australia to earn loads of money on a show and flaunting it in front of people that lost so many loved ones and went through the most horrific pain.
“I’ve never been more embarrassed about the Conservative Party ever.”
Hancock, 44, was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus social distancing rules by having an affair in his ministerial office with aide Gina Coladangelo.
After news broke that he had signed up for the reality show earlier this week, the MP for West Suffolk had the Tory whip suspended and has come under fire from across the political divide.
Hancock previously told The Sun he wants to use the “incredible platform” on the show to raise awareness of dyslexia and insisted it “wasn’t the cheque” that made him decide to join the show.
Leading figures at organisations specialising in dyslexia have said they are grateful to the former cabinet minister for his work raising awareness of the learning difficulty and welcomed a platform for the cause.
During Friday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! reigning champion Danny Miller also warned Hancock he should expect the public to use him as a “toy” before voting him off the show.
The actor, known for playing Aaron Livesy on the ITV soap Emmerdale and was crowned King of the Castle during the 2021 series in Wales, predicted viewers will vote for the Tory MP to take part in all the show’s gruelling eating challenges.
He said: “I think he needs to just accept the fact that he is going to be everyone’s toy.
“Last year, unfortunately Naughty Boy got it because he did the first one (challenge) and he was very entertaining and everyone then went, ‘Naughty Boy, Naughty Boy, Naughty Boy!’.
“This year I think regardless of how entertaining he is, he needs to accept that what he has put us through, I think the public are going to say, ‘This is what we are going to put you through’.
“And when they are done with him they will just get rid of him, I think,” he added.
During the 2021 series, the public repeatedly voted for music producer Naughty Boy to take part in the show’s so-called Bushtucker Trials.
Asked about his favourites to win this year’s series, Miller replied: “I would like to think Sue Cleaver, Boy George and Jill Scott. They are my prediction for the final three.”
Just days before the new series of @imacelebrity kicks off, current King of the Castle @DannyBMiller shares his predictions for the final three.#ImACeleb returns this Sunday at 9pm on ITV. pic.twitter.com/1hCuUz0EZP
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 4, 2022
Ten contestants are officially confirmed for the show so far, plus Hancock who is expected to be one of two surprise entries to the camp in the days following the launch.
Miller joked that the final unannounced name could be former prime minister Boris Johnson.
He said: “I have heard certain things about who it might be and if it is it will be brilliant.”
Asked who, he replied: “I can’t tell you that. It’s Boris Johnson!”
Also among the high-profile line-up entering the Australian jungle are rugby player Mike Tindall, pop star Boy George and former Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood.
On Friday, co-hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly shared a selfie on their joint Instagram account from aboard a boat cruising towards a small town.
The duo, who have been filming scenes around Gold Coast in Queensland, captioned the post: “It’s time to meet the celebs”.
Representatives of Mr Hancock have been contacted for comment.