Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver has questioned how genuine her fellow campmate Matt Hancock is being in the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle.
As the MP for West Suffolk was away from the camp completing a challenge with Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner during Saturday’s episode of the reality show, the topic turned to the contestants’ feelings towards him.
Previously during the series, Hancock admitted to his fellow campmates that he made a “mistake” and regrets the actions that led to his resignation as health secretary and that one of his motivations for coming on the show was to seek a “bit of forgiveness” from the public.
Speaking about her perception of Hancock, Cleaver said: “In his world he’s intelligent but he’s not worldly wise in other ways. He doesn’t live in the same world.
“I mean, I’ve really tried to like open up, talk, be nice and everything. I always feel there’s something that’s not quite genuine.
“I find it really hard to get past that, that time when he did that whole thing and he said he was really emotional and he says ‘I’ve come in here to ask for forgiveness’, I actually thought he was being authentic and I gave him a hug.
“And then I want to be nice, I want to be friendly, I want to do all the right things but I just don’t believe I’m getting anything genuine.
“How we’ve managed to try and see him on a human level, and there’s still times when it hasn’t been easy, I think, because ultimately if you don’t agree with what he’s done, but we’ve all come through that and we are a team and he’s very much part of the team as well.”
Radio DJ Chris Moyles added: “I believe a lot of the politicians that you see on TV and radio are part of a big boys’ club, it’s career politics, they don’t give too shiny shites about making a difference in the people, it’s all to do with furthering their career in politics and what they can get out of it.
“And when I have that mindset, and then I meet someone like Matt Hancock, I’m like… my back goes up immediately.”
Comedian Seann Walsh disagreed with Lioness Jill Scott who said she felt Hancock might be “a bit oblivious”, adding: “That man, he doesn’t flinch at anything in here, whether it be a lizard jumping at his face, or someone saying something.
“I think all I choose to do is take people for who they are in here in the jungle and in here I think it’s best to just get through this as one big team.”
Hancock has faced criticism from opposition politicians and from within his own party for joining the show, with the Tory whip suspended.
On Tuesday, campaigners flew a banner over the I’m A Celebrity campsite, reading: “Covid bereaved say get out of here!”
A spokesperson for Hancock has previously said that the MP hopes to raise awareness about his dyslexia campaign while in the jungle.
Elsewhere in the episode, the campmates had their relationships put further to the test after having to answer personal questions about one another in the latest Bushtucker trial.
The Partners in Grime challenge saw the remaining 10 contestants take part in a Mr and Mrs-style quiz, with them each coupling off with 30 minutes to learn everything they could about one another.
Hancock paired up with Walsh and as they prepared, the MP revealed to Walsh about his failed Arctic adventures, saying: “I tried to go to the North Pole… failed. I got frostbite in my finger. I’ve still got arthritis there.”
Reflecting on his other pursuits outside Parliament, he added: “I rode a winner at Newmarket. I trained to be a jockey. Frankie Dettori taught me how to ride.”
As one of their two questions, Hancock was asked which Disney cartoon character Walsh had a weird crush on, to which he said Bambi from the animated children’s movie about a deer.
Walsh appeared shocked by Hancock’s answer, and informed him it was in fact the Little Mermaid. Hancock later correctly answered that Walsh’s dog was called Mildred Barrett.
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The challenge also revealed that Mike Tindall has broken his nose eight times, which his partner Cleaver failed to answer correctly, but she did guess his nickname during his rugby career was Magic Mike.
The group collected all 10 stars with Walsh noting the importance of the full set, saying: “Yesterday we got two and now it’s a full house and we’re going to be full tonight.”
Following the first departure of Loose Women star Charlene White, Hancock was appointed to take over her role as camp chef.
Camp leader Tindall assigned the task, saying: “My first thought is Matt, the dunny’s a two-minute job, so I thought three tasks is easier.”
Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly also revealed that the next celebrity will be eliminated during Sunday’s episode.
A representative for Hancock has been contacted.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues at 9pm on Sunday on ITV1 and ITV Hub.