Miriam Margolyes calls out ITV for casting Matt Hancock in I’m a Celebrity

Miriam Margolyes has criticised the decision to cast Matt Hancock in the current series of I’m a Celebrity, saying she doesn’t know “why he was thought a proper person to entertain”.

The former health secretary’s appearance on the ITV programme has been met with widespread backlash, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admonishing him for abandoning his constituents.

Hancock resigned as health secretary last year after violating his own Covid regulations by having an affair with aide Gina Coladangelo. The pair were caught embracing on camera.

Speaking to the campmates in last night’s episode, the politician said he’s hoping for “forgiveness”, with Loose Women presenter Charlene White – whose aunt died during the Covid-19 pandemic – telling him that “‘sorry’ for a lot of families like mine doesn’t really cut it”.

While being interviewed on The Six O’Clock Show in Ireland, Margolyes said of Hancock: “What an appalling, adulterous creep. Why we have him on our televisions I don’t know.

“I don’t know why he was thought a proper person to entertain. He’s a vile human being. He nearly destroyed our national health service. He sent loads of people with Covid, old ladies, back into their care homes. I think he’s a detestable, vile, puny individual.”

In response, a spokesperson for Hancock told The Independent: “By going on the show, Matt hopes to raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign and will use the platform to talk about an issue he really cares about in front of millions of people.

“Matt is determined that no child should leave primary school not knowing if they have dyslexia.”

The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.

Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign, previously said: “Matt Hancock isn’t a ‘celebrity’, he’s the former health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules.

“The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in government, says it all about the sort of person he is."

Read the latest updates on I’m a Celebrity here.