Wes Streeting Says He Wants Matt Hancock To Eat 'Every Creepy-Crawly In The Jungle'

·3-min read
Wes Streeting on Sky News this morning
Wes Streeting on Sky News this morning

Wes Streeting on Sky News this morning

Wes Streeting has said he wants Matt Hancock to eat “every creepy-crawly available to him” during his stint on ‘I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here’.

The shadow health secretary said MPs from all parties will be phoning and texting to make the former cabinet minister takes part in as many of the show’s notorious bushtucker trials as possible.

Streeting also said it was “extraordinary and unacceptable” for the former health secretary to have agreed to appear on the reality TV show while parliament is sitting and the Covid inquiry is getting up and running.

Hancock has faced a storm of criticism and lost the Tory whip after it emerged he is heading to the jungle to take part the popular ITV show.

Streeting told Sky News: “Of all of the criticism that Matt Hancock has received, I thought the most damning was from Covid Bereaved Families, who I think expect politicians to take [the Covid inquiry] seriously, and clearly Matt Hancock has a lot to say and contribute as health secretary throughout much of the pandemic.

“I think he’s letting them down. I think he’s letting politicians and our politics down more generally. He says he wants to go on there so people have better access to politicians. I don’t want people across the country thinking that Matt Hancock is in any way representative of politicians.

“I don’t have a problem with politicians going on to programmes which are not traditional political programmes in order to get a message across, in order to reach audiences we might otherwise not reach, because loads of people are just turning off now whenever they see politics.

“I think this is extraordinary and unacceptable in terms of the time commitment that’s involved and the fact that being a member of parliament is a privilege, it’s also a responsibility.

“If he wants to be a celebrity, go and be a celebrity. We are not celebrities, we are politicians, we have a responsibility and we have a serious job to do.”

Streeting added: “I must also say that the ‘I’m A Celebrity’ producers will be delighted at the number of telephone calls going in during every bushtucker trial because we are going to make sure - on a cross-party basis - that Matt Hancock gets his fill of every creepy-crawly available to him in that jungle.”

Earlier, transport secretary Mark Harper had accused Hancock of neglecting his duties as an MP.

He said: ”“The chief whip has made the position of the Conservative Party very clear, which is members of parliament should focus on doing their job, serving their constituents in their constituencies and in the House of Commons.”

But writing in The Sun today, Hancock defended his decision to go on the show.

He said: “While there will undoubtedly be those who think I shouldn’t go, I think it’s a great opportunity to talk directly to people who aren’t always interested in politics, even if they care very much about how our country’s run.

“It’s our job as politicians to go to where the people are — not to sit in ivory towers in Westminster.”