What happens in a cabinet reshuffle? I'm A Celeb's Matt Hancock explains process

Matt Hancock opened up about the inner workings of Parliament in tonight's I'm A Celebrity episode <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Matt Hancock opened up about the inner workings of Parliament in tonight's I'm A Celebrity episode (Image: PA)

Matt Hancock explained a cabinet reshuffle to campmates in tonight’s I’m A Celebrity episode.

The former health secretary was questioned by radio DJ Chris Moyles about the inner workings of Westminster and how an MP can move between cabinet offices without prior experience in the area.

Hancock is the MP for West Suffolk currently and as the news broke that he’d be heading to the I’m A Celebrity jungle, he received criticism from opposition politicians, from within his own party and had the Tory whip suspended for joining the reality show at a time when Parliament is sitting.

The Northern Echo: Matt Hancock shed a light on what happens when a cabinet reshuffle takes place
The Northern Echo: Matt Hancock shed a light on what happens when a cabinet reshuffle takes place

Matt Hancock shed a light on what happens when a cabinet reshuffle takes place (Image: PA)

What happens in a cabinet reshuffle?

Hancock explained to Moyles how the reshuffle works, he said: “I’ll tell you exactly what happens. It’s reshuffle day and the first thing the Prime Minister does is call the people who he or she is going to fire and invites them into the office in the House of Commons.

“That way the cameras can’t see them coming and going. Face-to-face. These are very sensitive conversations.

“Then they go into Downing Street and they call people in in order of seniority. They have a whiteboard with all of the cabinet positions on it and they go from senior down.

“Sometimes people say, ‘No, I don’t want to be Defence Secretary, I’d take Transport’ and it is literally a reshuffle as in they’re moving names across this whiteboard.”

This lead to the radio DJ’s next question – would an MP get more money for taking on a cabinet position?

Hancock confirmed they would if they were appointed into government, clarifying that meant they would now hold two jobs.

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Moyles continued, asking: “But how many MPs have got quite a decent knowledge of defence?”

Hancock replied: “The job of the minister is not to be the subject matter expert. Of course, you need to get to grips with the subject matter, but that is only half the job.

“There’s a load of transferable skills – handling parliament, communicating with the public, taking decisions effectively – and then you have the subject matter experts who advise you on it all.”

In the Bush Telegraph, Hancock described the conversation as “really enjoyable” but Moyles became more skeptical of the reshuffle process.

He said: “I’m starting to think now, to be Minister of Transport, all you need is a car. And to be Minister of Health all you need is to be breathing.”

The radio presenter added: “Fascinating talking to him, however, he has no interest in me, my life, my job. He’s a funny little fish, isn’t he?”

I’m A Celebrity continues on Friday at 9.15pm on ITV1.