‘Give Matt Hancock a break!’ Your verdicts on I’m a Celebrity

Is the ex-health secretary’s TV turn despicable self-promotion, or a nice chance for a fun guy to redeem himself? Here are your thoughts

‘The sooner he leaves the jungle the better’

I think it shows us the confusion between the roles of celebrity and politician, a phenomenon I don’t blame Hancock for. Celebrity is something that comes with entertainment value, whereas politics ought to be an occupation more akin to teaching or being in the army. The sooner he leaves the jungle the better - but I’ll keep watching. I know, I’m a hypocrite. Samuel Blackburn, 22, part-time student and teaching assistant, south London

‘With this guy, there is just no fun’

I’m A Celebrity … is usually a favourite in our household, but we have decided to stop watching the show, because watching Hancock is too uncomfortable. Knowing how much money he is continuing to make using his so-called celebrity from his mishandling of Covid was the final nail in the coffin. There is always a baddie in the show or someone you love to hate, but with this guy there is just no fun. My mother-in-law died of Covid while people like him were scrapping due diligence and competition rules to do their families and friends favours, and flouting their own Covid guidelines. Kat Grant, 35, Edinburgh

‘I think Jacob Rees-Mogg should appear next year’

I find it very entertaining. I watched the two series set in Wales and wasn’t going to tune in again, but with Hancock appearing, I changed my mind. The series is mischievous, and its psychological games can be fascinating. Hancock is doing very well with his star haul and I find Chris Moyles’ and Boy George’s hostility to him ugly. Hancock is being trialled and is doing it so far with a grin – apart from the wretched scorpion sting. Commentators forget that 24 hours of footage is reduced to about an hour and a half: we only see what Ant, Dec and the producers find amusing. I’m not fussed that he’s a sitting MP, I think Jacob Rees-Mogg should appear next year so we can all cheer when he gets dunked in sludge. But so far, Hancock is doing well. Monica, 68, North Wales

‘It’s trivialising the pain of those who died unnecessarily’

Making entertainment out of his mockery is not poetic justice. He’s using the opportunity to boost his image, as if he’s trying to cleanse himself from his own sense of guilt. Why else would he do it? Public redemption through bushtucker trials is not justice; it’s exploitative TV. It’s trivialising the pain of those who died unnecessarily because of his mistakes. No wonder the camp members are repulsed by him being there. Nothing he does will redeem him for his catastrophic blunders in office. Anonymous, London

‘No one in the real world can take weeks off from their job and still be paid’

Matt Hancock should not have been allowed to appear on I’m a Celebrity. He is a sitting MP and should be in parliament or his constituency representing the views of the people who elected him. No one in the real world can take weeks off away from their jobs to eat bugs on TV and still be paid. Hancock is rightly notorious for his appalling choices during the pandemic. He is responsible for elderly people being sent from hospital back to care homes, taking Covid with them. He is responsible for breaking his own lockdown rules in the name of “love”. None of this makes him a celebrity who the public should invest time in. Sue, Gloucestershire

‘The British press and public should give Matt Hancock a break’

I genuinely believe, from what I’ve seen so far, that the British press and public should give Matt Hancock a break. He’s admitted to his mistakes, he’s found love, and I suspect he was towing the party line throughout Covid. I’m a Celebrity is his way of sticking it to the Tory hierarchy. He was nowhere near the biggest bigot in the Conservative party. Simon, 56, West Sussex

‘It’s incredibly distasteful for him to joke around when so much harm was done’

I can understand his desire to show he’s just another fallible human being. Programmes like I’m a Celebrity are a meeting point between the public and those in the public eye, and provide an opportunity for “punishment” and redemption. It’s a risk, and pelting those who have done harm with rotten eggs is a longstanding tradition. But it doesn’t take away the reckless and devastating harm Hancock and the rest of the government did. It’s interesting to watch the efforts Hancock is making, and I’ll be curious to see how he’s perceived after it. But there’s something incredibly distasteful about him being given the opportunity to redeem himself, to joke around, when so much life-changing harm was done. There needs to be far more engagement between government and those they serve in an ongoing way. Not after the event, when it’s far too late. Cathy, 67, East Sussex


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