A petition calling for Matt Hancock to be removed from the upcoming series of ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ has racked up thousands of signatures in just a matter of hours.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the former health secretary would be heading into the jungle in Australia on this year’s series of the show.
But thousands are now calling on ITV to reverse their decision to sign him up to show.
Almost 15,000 people have signed a petition set up by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice which says that Hancock’s appearance on the programme will “cause real pain and anguish to those of us who lost loved ones to Covid-19.”
It goes on to say that the Tory MP “isn’t a ‘celebrity’, he’s the health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules.”
The petition continues: “The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in Government says it all about the sort of his person he is.
“Families were ripped apart by Matt Hancock’s actions, and turning on the TV to see him being paraded around as a joke is sickening.
“If he had any respect for families who lost loved ones to Covid-19, he would be sharing his private emails with the Covid Inquiry, not eating bugs on TV.
“Then again, perhaps if those emails came to light no TV station would touch him with a barge pole. ITV should do the decent thing and remove him from the programme. Over 200,000 people lost their lives to Covid-19 across the UK.
“Matt Hancock was at the very centre of decisions such as locking down late, allowing large scale sporting events to go ahead as the virus ran rampant and failed to get our healthcare workers the PPE they needed.
“On top of that he was fired after breaking the rules he helped set.”
It concludes: “His profiteering and shameless search for publicity in the run up to his book launch is another insult to already grieving families.”
Hancock was swiftly suspended by his party following the news that he would be a late arrival in the jungle this year.
The former health secretary has had the party whip removed “with immediate effect.”
Chief Whip Simon Hart MP said: “Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.”
The politician, who had to resign after being caught on camera cheating on his wife during the pandemic, will be the 12th star to go into the jungle.