Matt Hancock is currently taking part in this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
The Conservative party member stepped down from his position as Health Secretary in 2021 following a controversial affair with Gina Coldangelo. However, he still remains a local MP for his constituency of West Suffolk.
The 44-year-old’s decision to join the jungle has divided public opinion across the country and many have criticised Hancock for abandoning his constituents. But how have West Suffolk constituents reacted to Hancock’s appearance in the jungle?
Here is everything you need to know.
Where is Matt Hancock’s constituency?
West Suffolk is regarded as a safe Conservative seat that is located between Cambridge and Norwich. The constituency includes the town of Newmarket, which is best known for its horse racing facilities, as well as the towns of Haverhill and Mildenhall.
Matt Hancock was first elected as the Conservative candidate for West Suffolk in 2010 and the 44-year-old has remained the constituency’s MP since then.
Rishi Sunak condemned Matt Hancock for his decision to join the I’m A Celeb lineup and subsequently removed the Conservative Party whip from the former Health Secretary. Hancock remains in his post as an MP and currently sits as an independent in the House of Commons.
How have local figures reacted to Matt Hancock’s appearance on I’m A Celeb?
Matt Hancock’s decision to join the lineup for I’m A Celeb 2022 has divided opinion with many political figures in West Suffolk.
Andy Drummond, chairman of Newmarket Conservatives and deputy chairman of West Suffolk Conservative association, said that he is excited to see Hancock on TV and said: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis.”
West Suffolk councillor Carol Bull - also a Conservative - said: “He’s made the decision, presumably he’s thought about it carefully, and hopefully, it will be, for him, the right decision.”
However, other senior figures such as David Smith, chair of the West Suffolk Labour Party, have differing views and have questioned Hancock’s motives for going into the jungle. Smith said: “He shouldn’t be spending his time in Australia, he should be over here trying to sort out the problems of his constituents, who are struggling with the cost of living crisis. He shouldn’t be swanning off on some PR stunt.”
Pat Hanlon, a labour councillor for Haverhill East on West Suffolk Council, echoed the views shared by Smith and added: “What makes me so angry is that he’s supposed to be representing the area I’m in. It’s just unbelievable really. He should be representing the people he’s elected by, not going on I’m A Celebrity.”
How have constituents in West Suffolk reacted?
A number of Hancock’s West Suffolk constituents have expressed their thoughts on social media following Hancock’s arrival in the jungle.
One Twitter user said: “It’s actually so depressing hearing Matt Hancock say on live telly ‘I’m the MP for West Suffolk’. Our poor constituency.”
The town council of Haverhill has written a letter stating that Hancock should resign from his post as MP.
Colin Poole, the council clerk, wrote a letter which said: “ By majority vote members of the council have directed me to express their displeasure at your decision to absent yourself from your duty to your constituents to join the cast of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!”
The letter criticised the MP’s decision amid the cost of living crisis and claimed that the 44-year-olds actions have made it clear that he sees his future outside of politics.
What has Matt Hancock said on joining the jungle?
Prior to his arrival in the jungle, Hancock claimed that the show was a great opportunity for him to talk directly to people who aren’t always interested in politics.
Hancock said: “It’s our job as politicians to go to where the people are - not to sit in ivory towers in Westminster. There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether I’m 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.”