Parliament’s standards watchdog has received dozens of complaints about Matt Hancock swapping Westminster for I’m A Celebrity – including one criticising his decision to eat “a buffet of animal genitalia” in a Bushtucker Trial on Remembrance Day.
Parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone told MPs on Tuesday that her office had receive “dozens of complaints” about the former health secretary’s decision to join the reality TV show.
“It raises really important questions about members’ proper activities while they’re supposed to be fulfilling their parliamentary duties and representing their constituents,” she said.
“One member of the public contrasted the dignity of veterans on Remembrance Sunday with a former secretary of state and they said this individual was waiting for a buffet of animal genitalia and they wondered what had happened to the dignity of public office.”
On Remembrance Day on Friday, Hancock munched on a camel’s penis, sheep’s vagina and cow’s anus.
Matt Hancock had to take on the I'm A Celebrity eating trial
Stone, who is soon to leave her role, said “there is no job description for MPs but we have to think very carefully about the conflict between public and private interests, bringing the House into disrepute and so on”.
But she said it was not something that would fall to her office to investigate, telling the Commons Standards Committee, “it doesn’t breach a rule per se, unless we are thinking about the conflict between personal and public interest, and settling that conflict in the interests of the public”.
Hancock has come in for widespread criticism for his decision to fly out to compete on the popular ITV show, which has seen him take part in several Bushtucker Trials already.