Matt Hancock announces he will QUIT Parliament at the next general election


Matt Hancock today announced he will quit the House of Commons at the next general election to explore ‘new ways to communicate’ with the public.

The MP for West Suffolk, wrote to the Prime Minister to reveal he will not stand as a Tory candidate when the country next goes to the polls.

The 44-year-old former health secretary also broke the news in a social media video on TikTok. 

Mr Hancock, who recently appeared on ITV‘s I’m A Celebrity programme, said it would now not be ‘necessary’ for him to receive the Tory whip back.

He was suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party last month when it was confirmed he had signed up to the reality TV show.

This meant he was absent from the Commons for weeks.

‘I am writing to tell you that I do not intend to stand for the Conservatives at the next general election,’ Mr Hancock told Rishi Sunak in his letter today.

‘I am very grateful for my conversation with the Chief Whip last week, in which he made clear he would restore the whip in due course, but that is now not necessary.’

Mr Hancock’s decision to appear on the programme, which saw him eat camel and sheep genitals during one challenge, had sparked anger among fellow MPs.

Members of his local Conservative association had also expressed their fury at Mr Hancock’s decision to head to Australia, rather than sit in the Commons during November.

This led to speculation that Mr Hancock could be blocked from standing again at the next election.

The former Cabinet minister is reported to have been paid £400,000 for his appearance on I’m A Celebrity.

He has also declared a £45,000 fee after signing up to Channel 4 show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Matt Hancock wrote to the Prime Minister to reveal he will not stand as a Tory candidate when the country next goes to the polls

Matt Hancock wrote to the Prime Minister to reveal he will not stand as a Tory candidate when the country next goes to the polls

In his letter to the PM, Mr Hancock described how he wanted to 'do things differently' and to explore 'new ways to communicate' with the British public away from Westminster

In his letter to the PM, Mr Hancock described how he wanted to ‘do things differently’ and to explore ‘new ways to communicate’ with the British public away from Westminster

The ex-Cabinet minister is reported to have been paid £400,000 for his appearance on I'm A Celebrity

The ex-Cabinet minister is reported to have been paid £400,000 for his appearance on I’m A Celebrity

In his letter to the PM, Mr Hancock said how he wanted to ‘do things differently’ and explore ‘new ways to communicate’ with the public away from Westminster.

He added: ‘There was a time when I thought the only way to influence public debate was in Parliament, but I’ve realised there’s far more to it than that.

‘I have increasingly come to believe that for a healthy democracy we must find new ways to reach people – especially those who are disengaged with politics.

‘The revival of modern conservatism over the next decade will I suspect take place as much outside Parliament as in it.

‘For my part, I want to do things differently. I have discovered a whole new world of possibilities which I am excited to explore – new ways for me to communicate with people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

‘I look forward to championing the issues that are dear to my heart, including better support for dyslexic children who get a raw deal from the education system.’ 

Prior to appearing on I’m A Celebrity, allies of Mr Hancock said the MP had been keen to sign up for an ‘amazing opportunity to engage with the public and talk about issues he really cares about’, including his dyslexia campaign.

It was also revealed that Mr Hancock would donate part of his fee to a local hospice.

He came third on the ITV programme after spending more than two weeks in the jungle, during which time he shown making three mentions of dyslexia.

Gina Coladangelo recently flew out to Australia to support Mr Hancock during his stint on I'm A Celebrity

Gina Coladangelo recently flew out to Australia to support Mr Hancock during his stint on I'm A Celebrity

Gina Coladangelo recently flew out to Australia to support Mr Hancock during his stint on I’m A Celebrity

During his stint on I’m A Celebrity, Mr Hancock was grilled by his fellow contestants over his motivation for appearing on the show, as well as his handling of the Covid crisis while in charge of the Department for Health and Social Care.

He was also quizzed about his resignation as health secretary in June last year, when he breached Covid guidelines by kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo in his office.

Mr Hancok and Ms Coladangelo, who were both married at the time, have continued their relationship and she recently flew out to Australia to support him during I’m A Celebrity.

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Hancock pleaded for ‘forgiveness for the human error’ when he ‘fell in love’ with Ms Coladangelo.

But he insisted he was ‘not asking for forgiveness for how I handled the pandemic’.

‘I woke up every single morning determined to do the very best I could in the most impossible circumstances until I needed to go to bed at night,’ Mr Hancock said.

‘I did that for 18 months.’

The politician said he’d had ‘an absolute bucket of s*** poured over my head’ since his affair with Ms Coladangelo was revealed, adding: ‘The even bigger bucket of s*** has been poured over Gina’s.’

Mr Hancock has recently published his account of the Covid crisis, a book titled ‘Pandemic Diaries: The inside story of Britain’s battle against Covid’.

He is also expected to give evidence to the official inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic when oral hearings begin next summer.



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