‘I fell in love’: Matt Hancock admits he ‘messed up’ on I’m a Celebrity

MP says there is ‘no excuse’ for his actions but is still ‘very much’ with Gina Coladangelo

Matt Hancock has acknowledged there was “no excuse” for the actions that led to his resignation as health secretary after being photographed kissing a colleague during the pandemic, but insisted he “fell in love”.

The Conservative MP for West Suffolk was asked by his campmates about his resignation after entering the Australian jungle in the reality show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

Hancock, 44, was forced to quit his cabinet role in June 2021 after he was caught on CCTV having an affair with aide Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office, breaking coronavirus social distancing rules.

Speaking to comedian Babatunde Aleshe, he discussed how his life had changed after his affair became public.

“It was really tough.

“I messed up and I fessed up. I resigned and it’s no excuse but I fell in love, right?” he said.

“That also had a lot of other consequences obviously.”

Asked whether he was still with Coladangelo, he replied: “With Gina? Yeah very much so, yeah, totally.

“That’ll be the best thing about being kicked out, seeing her on the bridge.”

Hancock took part in a Bushtucker trial called tentacles of terror, in which he was trapped inside an octopus-shaped cage full of underwater critters.

The MP successfully collected 11 numbered stars in order as the structure was lowered into the water, which resulted in him winning full rations for the camp.

The public voted for Hancock, along with singer-songwriter Boy George, to take on the first eating challenge of the series on Friday. The show’s hosts, Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin, said the pair would be eating at La Cucaracha Café (Cockroach cafe).

Hancock’s decision to appear in the show has been criticised by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who said he was “very disappointed” in the former health secretary. It resulted in Hancock losing the Tory whip.

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said Hancock should “voluntarily leave” the I’m A Celebrity jungle and return to parliament.

Taking questions on BBC Radio Humberside, Starmer said his decision to enter the show was “wrong”.

Hancock appeared to be getting on well with his fellow campmates, though some contestants commented on the events that led to his resignation.

TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas told him: “A lot of things that happened with you during the time, which does make it difficult because people are angry and upset – emotions are running high.

“We are not going to ever exclude anyone. We want to make sure that everyone’s a family, but if it does feel tough for the first few days, I’m sure you understand why.”

Hancock replied: “That’s very good of you to say that.”

Douglas added: “It was hard. A lot of people had difficult times.

“And then to see that people that had kind of set the rules had then broken them, I think was a big slap in the face for everyone.”

Hancock replied: “Look, I know how people felt.

“That’s why I resigned, right? I know how people felt and so good on you for saying that, thank you.”


Nadeem Badshah

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
What we’ve learned about Matt Hancock on I’m a Celebrity
MP wants to show us his human side but his appearance so far has sucked the joy out of the show

John Crace

11, Nov, 2022 @11:35 AM

Article image
Public will treat Matt Hancock like a toy, says reigning I’m a Celebrity champion
Danny Miller predicts former health secretary will be punished for his Covid record before being voted off

Jamie Grierson

04, Nov, 2022 @11:10 AM

Article image
Matt Hancock says he did not ‘primarily’ go on I’m a Celebrity for the money
Ex-health secretary defends appearance on TV show and denies he broke law by embracing aide during lockdown

Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor

31, Jan, 2023 @9:29 AM

Article image
Matt Hancock squeals as he is showered with sludge on I’m a Celebrity debut
Former health secretary crawls through dark tunnels in Beastly Burrows first trial

Rachel Hall

09, Nov, 2022 @9:00 PM

Article image
Jungle deliverance? Matt Hancock seeks his celebrity salvation
Covid-era health secretary hopes to use I’m a Celebrity … appearance to ‘deliver messages to the masses’ – who can now message back

Alexandra Topping

08, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
‘The man is an idiot’: Constituents respond to Matt Hancock’s I’m a Celebrity decision
Locals unimpressed by their West Suffolk constituency being left without parliamentary representation when the MP appears on ITV show

Caroline Davies

05, Nov, 2022 @8:00 AM

Article image
‘Some may think I’ve lost my marbles’: Matt Hancock defends decision to appear on I’m a Celebrity
Former health secretary says politicians ‘must wake up and embrace popular culture’

Rachel Hall

02, Nov, 2022 @8:49 AM

Article image
Matt Hancock through to final on I’m A Celebrity
Former health secretary could be crowned king of the jungle as he reaches last three along with Owen Warner and Jill Scott

Nadeem Badshah

26, Nov, 2022 @10:20 PM

Article image
Matt Hancock could be ‘set for life’ after I’m a Celebrity, says ex-MP
Former health secretary could have his ‘Peter Andre moment’, jungle veteran Lembit Öpik says

Rachel Hall

04, Nov, 2022 @2:34 PM

Article image
Career highlights of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! star Matt Hancock
From being the first disgraced pandemic-era health secretary, to Rishi Sunak snubbing his handshake, we pick our top 10 moments

Esther Addley

02, Nov, 2022 @6:10 PM