I’M A Celebrity’s Matt Hancock gushed over the “freedom” of his MP role just months before penning a whopper contract with the ITV reality show.
The MP for West Suffolk, 44, has left his constituents without a representative in Westminster after landing a £400K deal as a late entry Down Under, losing the Conservative Party whip in the process.
Just months prior, Matt spoke openly on The Diary Of A CEO podcast about the relative “freedom” of a backbench MP role as opposed to his former government position as Secretary of State for Health.
Dad of three Matt had to resign from his role after HOAR exposed him for breaking his own lockdown rules by having an office affair.
His comments came before he put pen to paper on the deal – in which he will be paid at least £350,000 – causing a huge public backlash.
A petition to ban him from the show reached 44,000 signatures – yet was to no avail.
Talking to podcast host Steven Bartlett months before his jungle stint Matt, who told how much he was “in love” with new partner Gina, was asked about his post pandemic strategy.
He candidly said: “To try to mend.
“To try to be kind, to try to make things better.
“Obviously on the professional side, I’ve got other things I am interested in.
“I actually don’t miss this job [Health Secretary] as much as I expected!
“I am really enjoying the freedom of being on the backbench on the professional side and I am absolutely in love with Gina, and that helps.”
Matt has continued his vow to be frank while in the jungle.
As he locked horns with Charlene White, he said: “Everybody’s really nice. Nobody’s trying to be spiky are they?”
“Were you nervous about that?” Charlene asked, prompting him to say that it was “on the worry list” before he entered camp.
When asking him why he would do it, Matt responded: “Because there’s, honest truth, is because there’s so few ways in which politicians can show that we’re human beings, so I just thought it would be good to do that. I’ve got a sense of adventure.”
He agreed that he hoped people would ‘see him for him’.
After Charlene expressed her worries about his constituents – as Matt has left the UK when parliament is still sitting – he added: “I understand that. But I also.. of course I get that, right.
“But I also just think that sometimes you’ve got to do things differently.”
Previously, Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid suggested Matt had joined the series for “redemption.”
The Good Morning Britain host insisted: “That’s what he’s hoping for – he’s hoping for some sort of redemption, even a new career maybe.”
When co-host Ben Shephard joked I’m A Celeb could be a way to choose the country’s MPs, Susanna quipped: “Or deselect them.”
She added: “He might find his constituents have taken against him.”