Matt Hancock challenged over his I’m a Celebrity fee on Good Morning Britain

Matt Hancock was grilled about his I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! fee on Tuesday’s edition (31 January) of Good Morning Britain.

The former health secretary, who was responsible for setting Covid guidelines during the early stages of the pandemic, finished in third place in last year’s run of the celebrity jungle survival competition.

Hancock stood down in May 2021 after he was caught breaking social distancing guidelines by embracing his then-colleague, Gina Coladangelo.

His appearance on I’m a Celebrity resulted in him having the Tory whip suspended, as he also received a fierce backlash from public figures and TV viewers.

More recently, it was revealed that he received £330,000 for his participation in the show – £10,000 of which he donated to charity.

On Tuesday’s edition of ITV1’s morning news programme, Hancock denied that money was the primary factor in his choice to appear on I’m a Celebrity.

“Are you telling the truth when you say [money] wasn’t your primary motivation?” Susanna Reid asked, to which Hancock confirmed: “Absolutely.”

When Reid continued by asking whether he negotiated his fee, Hancock replied: “Of course there was a discussion, there always is on these things, as you know.

“The point is, that the primary reason is that over lockdown I developed over the pandemic, over lockdown and over my resignation, I ended up a very public figure. And I felt that what the public knew about me was through a particular lens.”

Co-anchor Richard Madeley pressed the MP further on his motivations by redirecting the conversation back to his fee.

“If you didn’t do it for the money, and you did say that you’d be donating a substantial fee to charity,” Madeley began, “you’ve only given £10,000 to two charities, which is a tiny fraction of the fee. So if the money wasn’t important to you, why have you held on to most of it?”

“Well, I did absolutely give money to charity, and they’re two brilliant charities,” said Hancock.

“If you didn’t do it for the money, why not give the money to the causes that need it?” Reid chimed in, to which Hancock responded: “I said I didn’t primarily do it for the money,” he reasoned. “I primarily did it to show who I am.”

“You primarily kept the money,” Madeley shot back.

“I gave a five-figure sum to charity,” Hancock reiterated. “I’m really proud of the money I raised for charity, before and I’ll do lots in future.”

In December, Hancock released his memoir, The Pandemic Diaries, which failed to reach bestseller status after withering reviews and a meagre amount of copies sold.