Matt Hancock returns to Parliament after I'm A Celebrity jaunt
Matt Hancock has returned to Parliament for the first time since his controversial stint on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
The former health secretary was all smiles as he was captured on camera arriving in Westminster on Friday morning following his spell on the ITV reality show.
Mr Hancock made his first appearance in the House of Commons chamber, where he is later due to debate his Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill.
In a video posted to Instagram, Mr Hancock said: “I’m back in the office in Westminster today after my day in the constituency yesterday.
“I’ve got my Bill in front of Parliament today to have better screening for dyslexia.”
He also invited social media users to “ask me anything” on the platform.
Mr Hancock’s return to his day job, two days after arriving back in the UK from Down Under, comes as speculation mounts over whether he will have the Tory whip restored and seek to stand again at the next election.
He is currently sitting as the independent MP for West Suffolk, having been suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party for choosing to head to the Australian jungle at a time when the House was sitting.
The MP is expected to tell Parliament that the current approach to dyslexia “must change”.
“It is not only an issue of morality, but also of both social and economic justice,” he will say.
While his jungle jaunt drew criticism from colleagues, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Mr Hancock has “no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics”, according to his team.
Tory MPs have been given until Monday December 5 to declare their intention to re-run at the next general election, expected to be in 2024.
The second reading of Mr Hancock’s Private Member’s Bill on dyslexia is third on Friday’s order paper, meaning it is likely to be heard before the end of business.
As is normal procedure, other MPs can join the debate and representatives for both the Government and Opposition will have their say.
Some might take the opportunity to have a dig at Mr Hancock’s TV escapades since it will be their first chance to put their views to him directly in the House.
A serialisation of Mr Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries is to be published by the Daily Mail later on Friday, with a first glimpse revealing that a plan to release “thousands” of prisoners was considered during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The former Cabinet minister has also given an “extensive” interview to the newspaper, in which he talks about “falling ‘deeply’ in love with former aide Gina Coladangelo”.