Matt Hancock reveals he told Boris Johnson not to run for PM again and claims


Matt Hancock has revealed he advised Boris Johnson not to run for prime minister again after Liz Truss resigned – and claimed her political career “is over”.

On Tuesday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, the former health secretary was asked about Ms Truss’s premiership and the race to replace her.

It came ahead of Ofcom confirming on Wednesday that it had received 1,968 complaints about the show between Tuesday 8 November – when it was confirmed by presenters Ant and Dec that Mr Hancock would be entering the jungle – and Monday 14 November.

The majority of complainants, around 1,100, objected to the MP’s presence on the show, the broadcasting watchdog said – but other viewers expressed concerns about how the politician was being treated by his fellow contestants.

In Tuesday’s episode, Mr Hancock was asked by fellow campmate Sue Cleaver “want went wrong” for Ms Truss during her brief stint as prime minister.

He replied: “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’.”

Cleaver, 59, then asked: “Where does that leave her now?” The 44-year-old responded: “Her political career is over. No ambiguity at all. Totally finished.”

But pressed further on why she was chosen over Rishi Sunak initially, the former minister said: “I think that was all about how Boris got kicked out… people seeing Rishi as wielding the knife against Boris.”

Probed again, another campmate asked him if he was a “Boris diehard”.

Hancock said that he was “very supportive of him, but when it was time to go, it was time to go”.

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Hancock says he is ‘looking for forgiveness’

He revealed that after it emerged Mr Johnson was returning from a holiday abroad, seemingly to gear up for a leadership campaign, he advised him not to.

“I texted him and I said ‘you know I think you’re wonderful, but it’s not your time, you should do what’s best for the country and back Rishi’.

“‘And we should get him in post as soon as possible’.”

Ofcom to assess complaints

Meanwhile, the broadcasting watchdog is looking into the complaints it has received so far, just over a week into the series.

A spokesperson said complaints would be assessed against Ofcom broadcasting rules before a decision is made on whether to investigate.

The 1,968 complaints were made between between 8 and 14 – Ofcom’s latest reporting window.

The regulator said in a statement: “It’s worth being aware that under our rules, in principle – and taking into account freedom of expression – there’s no ban on any particular person taking part in programmes.

“However, if the mere presence of a person is likely to cause offence, we would expect broadcasters to take steps to mitigate or justify that offence. How they do that editorially is up to them.”

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