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Fall From Grace: Former Lockdown King Suspended for Doing Eat the Bug Reality TV

The government minister who was sacked after breaking his own lockdown rules to have an office affair has now been suspended by the Tories for signing up to appear on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, a popular reality television program characterized by yuck-factor eating challenges.

Matt Hancock, once the king of UK coronavirus lockdowns, continues his spiralling fall from grace as he is suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party for joining I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!. The former minister had the whip withdrawn, meaning that while he is still a Member of Parliament he has been suspended from the Conservative group in Parliament, on Tuesday.

The Daily Telegraph cites the chief whip — the political officer in Parliament responsible for party discipline in the Westminster system — who said of Hancock’s decision to try reality television: “I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect”.

The paper further cites an anonymous source explaining the logic of appearing on the show, where contestants attempt to survive through a series of challenges which have included eating bugs, eating the cooked genitals of large mammals, and spending time in confined spaces with large numbers of insects or live snakes. It was said that now Hancock does not expect to serve in government again, he wanted to promote awareness of dyslexia and wishes to connect with the public in other ways, like appearing on one of Britain’s most-watched television programmes.

Of course, Hancock does have a history of connecting inappropriately with people. The minister responsible for administering the draconian coronavirus lockdown laws, Hancock appeared on British television screens daily in government press conferences to tell the public to obey the rules, but was caught out kissing and groping a woman who wasn’t his wife. Naturally, the extremely close personal contact with someone from a different household was judged to be a pretty clear breach of his own lockdown rules and Hancock soon found himself out of a job.

In fairness to Hancock, this wasn’t exactly unusual. The clue that the lockdown rules created by the British government were too difficult to follow in good conscience may have been the enormous difficulty they seem to have had following the demands themselves, but no acknowledgment of that has yet been forthcoming.

The Conservatives have at least learnt a thing or two about social distancing in the period after Handsy Hancock’s fall from grace over his rule-breaking government office tryst. When new Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister was greeted by colleagues to congratulate him last week, Sunak was giving out handshakes and hugs to everyone who wanted one… except Matt Hancock. Footage of Sunak passing Hancock by when everyone else got a moment with the new leader went viral, although it was later claimed Hancock had specifically asked not to be embraced.

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