Matt Hancock’s camp dubs claims his lover ‘held secret talks about getting into showbusiness

So what’s next for Matt Hancock after I’m A Celebrity? Ex-Health Secretary’s camp dubs claims his lover ‘held secret talks about getting into showbusiness ‘absolutely not true’ and insist the MP will return to Westminster

  • Ex-Health Secretary, 44, overcame ignominy of six successive bushtucker trials
  • He outlasted likes of Boy George, Mike Tindall and Chris Moyles to finish third
  • But aides deny claims his girlfriend held talks over a future away from politics
  • His team insist he will continue as an MP and has ‘no intention of standing down’

Matt Hancock’s aides have rebuffed claims that his lover Gina Coladangelo had secret discussions about getting him into showbusiness – instead insisting he will return to Westminster.

The former Health Secretary, 44, overcame the ignominy of being voted by the public to face six successive gruesome bushtucker trials to finish third on ITV‘s I’m A Celebrity.. Get Me Out Of Here on Sunday night.

He outlasted the likes of Boy George and Chris Moyles before losing out to  Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner and the eventual winner, former Lioness Jill Scott. 

But his aides have tonight denied claims that Ms Coladangelo, the former aide with whom he had the affair that forced his resignation for breaking his own lockdown rules, met with a publicist to hold talks over a future away from politics.

Matt Hancock is greeted by his girlfriend Gina Coladangelo after finishing third on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

Matt Hancock is greeted by his girlfriend Gina Coladangelo after finishing third on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

The former Health Secretary was consoled by Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner and the eventual winner, former Lioness Jill Scott, as he left the camp

The former Health Secretary was consoled by Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner and the eventual winner, former Lioness Jill Scott, as he left the camp

Mr Hancock overcame six successive bucktucker trials when he first entered the jungle to reach the final

Mr Hancock overcame six successive bucktucker trials when he first entered the jungle to reach the final

Mr Hancock's aides have tonight denied claims that Ms Coladangelo met with a publicist to hold talks over a future away from politics

Mr Hancock’s aides have tonight denied claims that Ms Coladangelo met with a publicist to hold talks over a future away from politics

She is said to have met with PR friend Mayah Riaz last week amid claims he could earn huge sums following his stint on the hit show, The Sun reports.

A source told the newspaper: ‘Gina has been speaking to her about a change of career for him. They’re aware they need to act fast and capitalise on the huge interest in him post-jungle.’

But a spokesperson for Mr Hancock this evening refuted the claims.

They told MailOnline: ‘Matt has no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics and there has been no conversation with Mayah Riaz or any other PR.’

It comes as Mr Hancock is set to face angry colleagues, constituents and questions about his political future in Westminster as he returns home from Australia. 

The West Suffolk MP surpassed the expectations of many by reaching the final. 

His 18 days in the Australian jungle has seen him suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party and criticised by colleagues including Rishi Sunak.   

Mr Hancock is said to have seen appearing on the show as an ‘amazing opportunity’ to connect with younger generations, having been snubbed from Rishi Sunak’s cabinet.

But the news drew a rapid rebuke from Number 10, with Mr Sunak’s spokesman saying the he believed MPs should be ‘working hard for their constituents’ at a ‘challenging time for the country’.

His 18 days in the Australian jungle has seen him suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party

His 18 days in the Australian jungle has seen him suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party

More than 1,700 also complained to Ofcom and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group accused him of ‘trying to cash in on his terrible legacy’.

Mr Hancock was subsequently made to endure six successive bushtucker trials, including facing snakes in an underground pit and a horrible eating challenge in which he consumed camel penis, sheep vagina and cow’s anus.

And with the Conservative whip removed, there are questions over whether the currently Independent MP will be able to run again for Parliament. 

Mr Hancock recognised his appearance on the show was ‘controversial’ during an interview with presenters Ant and Dec.

He said: ‘I know that it was controversial me coming here, I know some people said people in your position shouldn’t put themselves in embarrassing situations. 

‘But we’re all human and we all put ourselves in it.” He stressed: “We are normal people.’ 

Mr Hancock praised his campmates for behaving in a ‘really grown up way’ during ‘grillings’ over his time in office. 

After leaving the interview, he hugged partner Ms Coladangelo,

Tory MPs have been given until December 5 to decide whether they want to stand again, after which the party may choose a new candidate for his safe seat. 

His team have insisted he has no intention of standing down, but many Conservative colleagues have been embarrassed and outraged by the decision to enter the jungle while Parliament is sitting. 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I don’t think serving members of Parliament should be taking place in reality television programmes. 

‘However well they do on them I still think they should be doing the job for which they are paid a good salary which is representing their constituents.’

Mr Hancock recognised his appearance on the show was 'controversial' during an interview with presenters Ant and Dec

Mr Hancock recognised his appearance on the show was ‘controversial’ during an interview with presenters Ant and Dec

As a former chief whip in charge of party discipline, Mr Harper said the decision to readmit Mr Hancock – or not – will be for successor Simon Hart. 

Former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers, however, was among Mr Hancock’s fans, saying the ‘great human being’ has ‘shown incredible resilience and bravery’. 

Mr Hancock is expected to face his constituents when he fulfils his promise to hold surgeries with them on his return. 

He had insisted they were his ‘first priority’ when entering the jungle, claiming the reality TV show would be an ‘honest and unfiltered’ way to communicate with voters. 

Mr Hancock said he would use the ‘incredible platform’ to raise awareness of dyslexia. 

He also faces possible punishment from the Cabinet Office after being found to have broken the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments rules on post-ministerial jobs. 

Mr Hancock’s team said he will make a donation from his appearance fee to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and he will be required to declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament.   

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