Campaigners fly banner over ‘I’m A Celebrity’ camp criticising Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock

Coronavirus justice campaigners have flown a plane over the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! jungle with a message criticising the former health secretary Matt Hancock.

The 35-foot banner, which reads “Covid bereaved say get out of here!”, was trailed above the camp for two hours earlier today (November 15).

Hancock served as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care between 2018 and 2021, and was notably involved in a political scandal after breaking his own social distancing guidelines during lockdown.

Matthew McGregor, the chief executive of 38 Degrees who is working with Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “No one has forgotten how Matt Hancock conducted himself during the Covid-19 pandemic, not the general public, not his campmates, and certainly not those who lost loved ones.

“Our message emblazoned across the skies makes crystal clear to Matt Hancock, you should be representing the people of West Suffolk and giving Covid Bereaved Families the answers they deserve, rather than playing games for dingo dollars and plastic stars.”

Hancock has been widely criticised for his comments in the jungle this week, after asking for “forgiveness” for his conduct during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former health secretary resigned in June 2021 after photographs emerged of him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his office, which breached the rules at the time.

ITV news anchor Charlene White said to Hancock: “My aunt died from COVID in the first wave. So, we couldn’t go to the hospital to go and visit her. I had to sit by myself in the church at her funeral. We couldn’t hug each other because we were following guidance.

“And I get that you fell in love, I understand all of those things, but ‘sorry’ for a lot of families like mine doesn’t really cut it.”

Hancock replied: “Yeah. Well, there you go. That’s one of the reasons that I regret it as much as I do.”

Later in the show, he told campmates: “Do you know what it is actually, what I’m really looking for is a bit of forgiveness, that’s what I’m really looking for. We all make mistakes. I made a pretty big one.”

A spokesperson for Hancock, who stated that the politician hoped his appearance on the show would “raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign”, said: “Matt continues to support the Covid inquiry and he’ll continue to meet all the deadlines. Matt has already handed over his phone and given full access to all his emails and text messages, when requested by parliament.”

Since his participation in the ITV reality show was announced, Hancock has been suspended from the Conservative Party.

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