Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has talked about how the Cabinet reshuffles are made by the Prime Minister in the latest episode of I’m A Celeb.
The MP, 44, told media he never expected to serve on the frontbench again when he announced his entry on the ITV reality TV show.
Now, Hancock has revealed how the latest changes to government personnel made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may have been decided, following the short-lived premiership of his rival Liz Truss.
Radio presenter Chris Moyles asked Hancock: ‘If you’re an MP and you’re tootling along doing your MP job, how does it work? Do you get a phone call saying, “Hi, would you like to be Minister of Transport?”
Hancock responded: ‘I’ll tell you exactly what happens. It’s reshuffle day and the first thing the Prime Minister does is call the people who he or she is going to fire and invites them into the office in the House of Commons.
‘That way the cameras can’t see them coming and going. Face-to-face. These are very sensitive conversations. Then they go into Downing Street and they call people in in order of seniority.
‘They have a whiteboard with all of the cabinet positions on it and they go from senior down.
‘Sometimes people say, “No, I don’t want to be Defence Secretary, I’d take Transport” and it is literally a reshuffle as in they’re moving names across this whiteboard.’
In the Bush Telegraph, Hancock said: ‘There’s less sort of noise around camp and you’re more often with just one or two other people. Today, for example, Chris was taking a real interest in politics and Westminster and I found that really enjoyable actually.’
Moyles asked: ‘But how many MPs have got quite a decent knowledge of defence?’
Hancock said: ‘The job of the minister is not to be the subject matter expert. Of course, you need to get to grips with the subject matter, but that is only half the job. There’s a load of transferable skills – handling parliament, communicating with the public, taking decisions effectively – and then you have the subject matter experts who advise you on it all.’
Chris in the Bush Telegraph said: ‘I’m starting to think now, to be Minister of Transport, all you need is a car. And to be Minister of Health all you need is to be breathing.’
Chris said: ‘If I was head of Culture and Sport and Digital and then got the phone call saying, ‘We want you to be in charge of the health of the nations’ I’d be like, ‘I can’t do that… I don’t know anything about that. I know a few doctors, but I think I’d need a bigger team of advisors.’
Matt said: ‘But you do and that’s what you have. Nobody is a specialist in the whole health service, literally nobody. Even the Chief Executive of the Health Service.’
Having asked no question back, Chris said in the Bush Telegraph: ‘Fascinating talking to him, however, he has no interest in me, my life, my job. He’s a funny little fish, isn’t he?’
Earlier today, it was revealed Hancock ‘broke’ the I’m A Celebrity rules by asking Babatunde to send a message to his girlfriend Gina Colangelo once he left the jungle, Richard Arnold has claimed.
The Good Morning Britain showbiz host was looking at Babatunde Aleshe’s departure from the show as the fifthcelebrity voted out of the jungle down under.
But he says that Matt, who said ‘Will you say that to Gina?’ when giving his goodbye greetings, was rule-breaking by sending a message to the outside world.
In Wednesday night’s episode, Ant and Dec headed down to the camp to tell the celebs who was next to leave.
Dec said: ‘It’s between Babatunde and Seann. the next person to leave I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here 2022 is… Babatunde. Say your goodbyes and we will see you across the bridge shortly.’
As Babatunde went around the group giving hugs as he said goodbye to his fellow campmates of over two weeks, he and Matt gave a strong embrace.
Matt tells him: ‘Oh, you are so wonderful. Will you say that to Gina?’, and Babatunde says: ‘Yeah bro.’
Speaking on his I’m A Celebrity segment on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain, Richard said: ‘Eagle-eyed viewers spotted Matt Hancock issue a potentially rule-breaking request during a goodbye hug.
‘Sending a message to the outside world!’
Susanna Reid, seemingly perplexed, asks: ‘Is that not allowed?!’
Richard says: ‘No. Not allowed to send messages to the outside world.’
Co-host Ben Shephard adds: ‘[Chris] Moyles has got a hat with a ‘T’ on for his girlfriend?’
But Richard insists: ‘Yes but that’s not a subliminal message I suppose. Because I’d be sending up a flare at this point! I mean, it’s been long enough hasn’t it.
‘There you have it, Matt Hancock breaking rules.’
Radio host Chris Moyles has written a ‘T’ on his camp hat, a nod to his girlfriend Tiffany Austin who recently flew over to Australia to welcome her other half when he gets out of the jungle.