Matt Hancock Says I'm A Celeb Appearance Was 'A Real Success'

Matt Hancock has insisted his appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! was a “real success”.

The former health secretary said views of him “go from total love and adulation to the exact opposite”.

Hancock was paid £320,000 for appearing on the show and donated £10,000 to charity.

He had the Conservative Party whip withdrawn for joining the reality TV programme and intends to stand down as an MP at the next election.

Speaking in central London at an event hosted by law firm Mishcon de Reya, Hancock said the public view of him had become “entrenched” during Covid.

“People had a particularly view of me,” he said. “Parts of it were accurate and parts of it were inaccurate.”

Hancock said the public had warmed to him since appearing on the show and it had been a “real success”.

“Views of me go from total love and adulation to the exact opposite,” he said.

“The biggest challenge is I was in charge of the health service in a time that was extremely serious,” he added. “It would have been inappropriate to get any lightness or cheerfulness over because of the subject matter.”

Hancock added there was “a group of people who blame me for what they should be blaming the virus for” but acknowledged that was “human”.

In the interview, the former cabinet minister also said there was “absolutely no doubt” Dominic Cummings had made the Covid response worse, describing the way Boris Johnson’s former top aide behaved as “nuts”.

The pair  have a long-running feud, with Cummings telling a Commons committee last year that Hancock should have been sacked “almost every day”.

Hancock also said Johnson had the “biggest strengths and weaknesses of anybody I know”.

“He has an ability to spot what are the really big questions. And then he is at his best when he delegates, not the execution,” he added.