Thursday, December 22, 2022

Matt Hancock’s ‘I’m a Celeb’ hit is ‘sick’, say families who have lost loved ones to Covid

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“The British public has sadly been duped into falling for this well done publicity stunt hook, line and sinker,” said David Garfinkel, whose father Ivor died of Covid

Families who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 said they were ‘sick’ to see Matt Hancock reach the final of i am a celebrity .

The former Health Secretary defied predictions of an early exit on the ITV reality show to make it into the last three in Sunday night’s final and fight for proclamation as King of the Jungle.

Mr. Hancock, Jill Scott and Owen Warner are the last three celebrities left in the jungle.

David Garfinkel, whose father Ivor died of Covid-19 in 2021, said the Conservative MP’s popularity filled him “with the utmost sadness and anger”.

“The British public has unfortunately been tricked into falling for this well done publicity stunt hook, line and sinker,” he added.

He said I: “If it wasn’t shocking enough just to see Hancock in ‘I’m a Celebrity’ at all, it’s disgusting to see the British public voting him into the final.

“This is a man who made decisions during the pandemic that have cost people their lives. From the disastrous preparation and delivery of PPE putting the lives of our doctors and nurses at risk, to ensuring Covid is rampant in care homes.

“Having no shame is one thing. Trying to ask forgiveness on a reality TV show when he should be serving his constituents as an MP is another. To see the British public voting for him for winning a few meals for the camp and fighting back against the jungle dwellers fills me with utter sadness and anger.”

Mr Garfinkel’s father, who died aged 76, had an underlying condition for which he was taking immunosuppressants but had led a normal and healthy life.

He died 11 days after contracting the virus and Mr Garfinkel has blamed the Government’s approach to Covid for what happened.

He added: “Hancock is a narcissist looking outside of politics for fame and fortune now that his political career is all but over. What we have witnessed is a process through reality TV and the British public has sadly been tricked into falling for this well-done hook, line and plumb bob publicity stunt.

“If Hancock was truly sorry for what he did during the pandemic, he would go to the homes of everyone who lost someone because of his disastrous decisions and apologize directly to them.”

He said he hoped the ongoing public inquiry into the government’s response to Covid “will show exactly what Hancock did and what he was responsible for”.

Others took to social media to condemn Mr Hancock after his official report released a plea for votes.

Prosecutor Nazir Afzal wrote: “His decision to halt community Covid testing resulted in the death of my brother, alone and at home. I can’t forget that, and neither should you.”

Mr Hancock, a sitting MP, has caused outrage with his appearance on the show. He was suspended by the Conservative Party when it was announced he would be attending.

He has used his platform on the show to defend his handling of the pandemic and beg for “a bit of forgiveness” from the public after he was forced to resign during the pandemic for violating his own social distancing policy would have

Cabinet Secretary Mark Harper said Sunday he should never have gone into the jungle.

He told Sky Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “If you are a Member of Parliament and Parliament is sitting, I think your job is to represent your constituents, either in your constituency or in Parliament. I don’t think incumbent MPs should take part in reality TV shows.

“As good as they are at it, I still think they should do the job that gives them a good salary.”

But Mr Hancock was defended by fellow Tory Theresa Villiers, who said he was a “great human being”.

She said: “He did fantastically well. I definitely voted for him and wish him all the best for the final.”

She added: “He has shown incredible resilience and bravery in these tasks. And people can see him for the dedicated and great person that he is.”

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