Matt Hancock broke government rules about performing ‘I’m a Celebrity’, watchdog rules

Matt Hancock broke government rules by failing to get permission before appearing on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, a watchdog has ruled.

The former Health Secretary – who has already had his Tory whip stripped for flying off to allegedly earn £400,000 in the jungle – has failed to consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA).

Its leader, former Cabinet Secretary Eric Pickles, has attacked Mr Hancock for claiming he doesn’t need to seek permission because many weeks on a reality TV show constituted a “one off” activity.

“Acoba’s ‘one-off’ activity guidelines are not intended to allow individuals to meet short-term appointments without seeking advice or create a loophole for conducting counseling activities,” he wrote.

“The rules make it clear that when individuals plan a range of media activities, an application is required and it is for Acoba to assess the risks involved.

“Failure to seek advice and await prior announcement or acceptance of these roles in this case is a breach of Government regulations and the requirements set out in the Ministerial Code.”

However, Lord Pickles warned Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden that further action against Mr Hancock would be “disproportionate”.

The former health secretary is believed to accept that his frontbench career is over and is widely expected to step down from parliament at the next general election.

Before leaving the UK, Mr Hancock claimed his appearance on the show was an opportunity to show the “human side” of MPs, with an ally saying: “There are many ways to get the job done.”

He also claimed it would provide an “incredible platform” to raise awareness of dyslexia – Mr Hancock was diagnosed at university – but has only mentioned the condition once.

continue Matt Hancock broke government rules about performing ‘I’m a Celebrity’, watchdog rules


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