What next for Matt Hancock? Is I’m a Celebrity 2022 campmate still an MP, will he go back into politics?

Following Matt Hancock’s return from Australia where he filmed I’m A Celebrity, the former Health Secretary’s future is uncertain
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When Matt Hancock announced that he was heading to Australia for the 22nd season of ITV reality series I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, people across the country were stunned. He promptly lost the whip, and once in the jungle was put through the wringer, being voted to complete six consecutive bushtucker trials.

Hancock managed to surpass all expectations, reaching the final, though he came in third place, with roughly 20% of the public vote - Hollyoaks star Owen Warner came second and Lioness Jill Scott was crowned Queen of the Jungle. Having taken a gamble by turning from politics to reality TV, to be ‘where the people are’ what will Hancock do now? Will he return to the House of Commons after his, is he still an MP, and will he stand at the next general election?

Matt Hancock came third on I’m A CelebrityMatt Hancock came third on I’m A Celebrity
Matt Hancock came third on I’m A Celebrity

Is Matt Hancock still an MP?

Yes, Matt Hancock is an MP and has represented the constituency of West Suffolk since 2010. He was elected as a Conservative however Hancock had the whip suspended this month after announcing that he would take part in I’m A Celebrity.

He is still a member of the Conservative Party but will now sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons when he returns. Hancock has broken government rules because he didn’t consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before appearing on the reality show.

Transport secretary Mark Harper told Sky News: “I don’t think serving members of parliament should be taking part in reality television programmes. However well they do on them I still think they should be doing the job for which they are paid a good salary which is representing their constituents.”

Matt Hancock has a book about his work during the pandemic coming out next monthMatt Hancock has a book about his work during the pandemic coming out next month
Matt Hancock has a book about his work during the pandemic coming out next month

Will Matt Hancock return to politics?

Hancock is still being paid his ministerial salary of £84,000 for his work as an MP and is expected to return to the House of Commons when he comes back to the UK. Conservative Party MPs were given until 5 December to tell the party if they want to stand at the next election - as Hacock has not yet had the whip restored, it is likely that the Conservative Party will have to select a new candidate for the West Suffolk constituency.

Hancock could still contest his seat at the next general election, however he will have to stand as an independent - this will significantly reduce his chances of getting elected. Regardless of whether Hancock remains in politics after the next election, he will have plenty of work to come back to after the jungle. A spokesman said: “The second reading of Matt’s dyslexia screening and teacher training bill is just days after I’m A Celebrity … finishes. As soon as Matt’s time in camp is up, he will return to Suffolk to hold surgeries where he will catch up with his constituents and discuss matters of concern.”

What will Matt Hancock do next?

Hancock has written, Pandemic Diaries, a book about his work during the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be published next month, and he will also appear on the I’m A Celebrity Reunion, which will air on 1 December. He is slated for another reality show, Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which is expected to air next September.

The Channel 4 show puts a group of celebrities through a series of physically and mentally demanding challenges modelled on real SAS training courses. Some of the team who worked on Who Dares Wins felt that Hancock had snubbed Channel 4 by joining an ITV show weeks after filming for Channel 4 - especially as I’m A Celebrity aired almost a year before his stint on Who Dares Wins.

If Hancock doesn’t bounce back in politics there are plenty more reality shows he can get stuck into, and with news of Big Brother’s return on ITV in March, maybe he could headline the first rebooted Celebrity series. Or perhaps Celebrity Ex on the Beach?

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