MATT Hancock got another political grilling on I’m A Celebrity, giving his verdict on the current state of Parliament and revealing he encouraged Boris Johnson to quit as Prime Minister.
The former health secretary, who was removed from his Tory whip for going on the jungle series, had a direct line to the top dog while Johnson was in power.
Hancock assured her “he will be”, prompting Sue Cleaver to ask him what had gone wrong in Parliament to cause such a shake-up that there’s been three Prime Ministers in the space of a year.
Directly referencing Liz Truss, who only lasted 42 days on the role before resigning and handing the reins to Sunak, Hancock said: ”In a way, they were unlucky, in that globally interest rates all went up, just at the time that they were also… bringing in a financial statement where you say, ‘We’re going to do all these expensive things and we’re not going to say how we’re going to pay for them’.
He then declared Truss’s political career “over, with no ambiguity”.
Journalist Charlene White joined the conversation, questioning why Tory party members who went for less experienced MPs to take major roles in the cabinet.
“I think that’s all about how Boris got kicked out,” Hancock said. “It was all about people seeing Rishi as wielding the knife against Boris.”
“So they decided to, one could argue, punish the entire country, by putting someone in place who was less experienced?” Charlene responded.
“That implies a malign motive, which isn’t fair,” he replied. “But they definitely put the disloyalty to Boris as a negative, as a bigger factor than..”
Seann Walsh later asked if Hancock considered himself a “Boris die-hard”, leading him to reveal he had encouraged Johnson to leave.
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“Look, I was very supportive of him, but it was time. When it was time to go, it was time to go,” he said.
“I texted him and I said, ‘You know I think you’re wonderful but it’s not your time. The best thing for the country is that you should back Rishi and that we should get him in post as soon as possible.’”
Hancock later relayed the moment in the Bush telegraph, comparing it to “being on Mastermind”.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here airs weeknights at 9pm on ITV.