Matt Hancock was paid thousands to appear on a celebrity reality TV show before signing up to ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’.
Hancock will appear on the next series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which is due to be broadcast next year. The MP for West Suffolk has been criticised for his decision to take part in the ITV reality show ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’ while parliament was sitting.
The former Health Secretary has earned more than £12,000 from speaking arrangements in the last six months, and a tech firm paid more than £11,000 for him to attend a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, back in May. Other senior Conservatives including Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson and Theresa May have also earned large amounts from speaking engagements in recent months.
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins
Hancock was paid £45,000 for his appearance on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, with filming taking place between 24 September and 8 October this year, according to the register of members’ financial interests. This involved approximately 80 hours work, meaning he was paid more than £560 per hour.
The former minister lost the Conservative whip when it was revealed that he would be taking part in this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity, for which he is expected to receive around £400,000.
Despite losing the whip, meaning he is no longer officially a Conservative MP, Hancock will maintain his role in parliament and has received his MPs’ salary during his stint in the jungle.
Hancock came third in the reality show, after the public voted several times for him to face gruelling challenges. His decision to appear on the show has been widely criticised by his colleagues and by campaigners, including the bereaved families of people who died from Covid.
Hancock attended lavish cryptocurrency conference
The former Health Secretary has earned a significant amount from work outside of parliament since he was forced to resign over breaching Covid rules, after it was revealed that he had been having an affair.
In June, Hancock was paid £2,447.81 to deliver a speech which took 30 minutes to the Forum of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Austria. In October, he was paid £10,000 by a financial tech firm to deliver a speech at a conference, which took four hours.
Hancock was also flown out to a conference in New York and Miami earlier this year, at a total cost of £11,638. Tech consultancy firm Hawksmoor Technology Advisors paid for the trip from 16-23 May, to attend the Permissionless Experience conference on decentralised finance, which featured bar crawls, yacht trips and street parties.
A spokesman for Hancock told the Times: “Matt does not own any cryptocurrencies and he has not invested in any either. In fact, when he’s been offered digital assets, he’s turned them down to ensure he retains the freedom to talk about them.
“Matt isn’t lobbying on behalf of any companies as he is not contracted to them. He’s been paid twice to talk about the technology — something he has a deep understanding of.”