Column: The real winner of I'm A Celebrity cannot be allowed to be Matt Hancock

There was one clear winner in I’m A Celebrity this year - and it wasn’t footballer Jill Scott.
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She may well have taken the crown, and deservedly so, but Team Hancock must still be high-fiving each other at a job incredibly well done as they managed to rehabilitate a politician who should have been left to rot along with the entrails of animals and buckets of fish stew poured over his head.

Matt Hancock may well have excelled at the trials the British public made him do. They thought they were punishing him. All their votes did was give him constant exposure on air, in print and across social media where the story certainly changed from woeful former Health Minister to plucky Matt - a man whose only mistake was to fall in love. No wonder the nation suffered a shortage of sick bags ...

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The framing of that narrative didn’t just stick in the throat more than any fishbone, I suspect it made many people wretch with fury.

Matt Hancock (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)Matt Hancock (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Matt Hancock (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Hancock’s decision to be part of the hit show told everyone he knew the game was up as a politician, while still happy to pick up his handsome salary as MP for West Suffolk.

The gulf between standing to be Prime Minister and sitting in a tank of water surrounded by eels with a toad perched on your head is quite staggering. And we all thought Boris Johnson was the Cabinet clown …

As Health Secretary and as part of that cabinet of the clueless and talentless, Hancock bears his full share of responsibility for the appalling way the pandemic was handled.

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This is the man whose rules included that only a handful of mourners could attend funerals, and, even then, they must not reach out and offer a hug of comfort.

This is the man who locked old people into care homes apparently oblivious to the devastating impact that had on their partners and relatives. My stepdad’s 90th birthday saw him allowed four people at a garden visit. My partner and I stood on the other side of the fence having pieces of cake slid under the wire to make feel us part of the celebrations. I know people who lost their loved ones on the very day Johnson and his acolytes partied. Their sense of disgust will never diminish.

And this is the man who broke his own social distancing rules to snog his married lover under the glare of a security camera.

Hancock wittered on about reaching real people through television as if it was a new invention all the cool kids were mesmerised by, but word still fail me that he was somehow seen as a good choice to be part of a hugely popular television show.

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The show lost part of its soul when it lashed out a reported £400,00 fee to lure him 6000 miles away from his day job - a job we pay him to do.

Instead of being at Westminster, and preparing for the inquiry into how COVID was handled, Hancock was being questioned by Boy George and a bloke off Gogglebox 6000 miles from home.

How sad that his pasty-faced figure will cast a shadow over the most genuine winner in the show’s history. Jill Scott deserves to reap all the benefits. Hancock deserves absolutely none.