Matt Hancock is getting special permission to communicate with outside world when he’s in I’m a Celebrity jungle

Matt Hancock exercising today Evening Standard Picture Jeremy Selwyn

MATT Hancock has been granted special permission to communicate with the outside world when he’s on I’m A Celeb – and says he’ll donate some of his fee to a local hospice.

The politician, who had to resign after HOAR exposed him for breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair in the office, will be the 12th star to go into the jungle, HOAR revealed this morning.

Matt Hancock has pledged to donate I’m A Celeb cash to a local hospice
The MP has had the Tory whip removed for joining this year’s show

Ten celebrities will go into I’m A Celeb this Sunday when the new series starts.

But Matt, 44, will be one of two stars who’ll join the camp later.

ITV has relaxed rules just for the MP, so he can keep communicating with staff if there’s a constituency emergency in his West Suffolk patch.

And Mr Hancock has pledged to donate some of the fee for appearing on the show to a local hospice.

This morning Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart confirmed Mr Hancock has had the whip suspended for abandoning the Commons to do reality TV.

He said: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”

Sources close to the former Health Secretary hit back at critics, saying it was a great way to raise awareness for his dyslexia campaign.

A political ally close to Hancock said: “I’m A Celeb is the most watched show on TV. Matt doesn’t expect to serve in Government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12million Brits who tune in every single night.”

The ally added that Hancock was “flattered and naturally curious” when first approached by ITV.

However, he originally turned down the opportunity “because of the instability government was facing at the time”.

Now, with new PM Rishi Sunak in charge, Mr Hancock believes the timing is finally right.

His ally said: “Matt has always believed in communicating directly with the people he represents – whether that’s getting out and pounding the streets in West Suffolk, through all sorts of media or via those press conferences.

“There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether he’s in camp for one-day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.

“Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV? “Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged.

“Matt’s of the view that we must embrace popular culture. Rather than looking down on reality TV, we should see it for what it is – a powerful tool to get our message heard by younger generations.”

A Downing Street Spokesperson this morning said the PM thinks MPs should be spending time in the Commons rather than the jungle.

They commented: “The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents whether that’s in the House or indeed in their constituencies.”

The spokesperson added that it’s “unlikely” Mr Sunak will tune in to watch Hancock eat bugs.

Last year HOAR exclusively revealed that Mr Hancock was having a secret affair with his closest aide, Gina Coladangelo, 44, and quickly resigned from his job.

He hired her in 2020 with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain. They were caught on camera in a steamy clinch at his Whitehall office.

Whistleblowers revealed the Health Secretary had been spotted cheating on his wife of 15 years with married Ms Coladangelo.

He was seen kissing her at the Department of Health’s London HQ during office hours as the mutant strain began spreading.

Mr Hancock apologised for his actions, saying: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances.

“I have let people down and am very sorry.”

The former Health Secretary pictured with Gina Coladangelo before he resigned over their affair