Nigel Farage’s feud with Matt Hancock heats up as politicians go head-to-head in I'm A Celeb popularity battle | The Sun
15th November 2023

NIGEL Farage's feud with Matt Hancock has been revealed as the politicians go head-to-head in an I'm A Celeb popularity battle.

Brexit Party leader Farage has just been confirmed among the full line-up going into the Australian jungle for the new ITV series.

And he'll hope to do better than disgraced former health secretary Hancock's third-place finish last year, having previously branded his rival a "pipsqueak".

Hancock faced flak from campmates, lost the Conservative Party whip for taking part and was repeatedly voted by viewers to be forced into grisly "Bushtucker Trials".

These included taking on snakes, his top fear, and eating animal parts such as a fish eye taco, a sheep vagina and a camel's penis.

Farage has been warned he faces similar discomfort, including by ex-Tory MP Nadine Dorries – another former I'm A Celebrity contestant.

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But he has taken up the challenge after revealing he was finally considering an offer – and revelations about his frequent clashes with Hancock suggest extra motivation for performing well.

Former Ukip leader Farage has often denounced Hancock over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic while in office.

Leaked WhatsApp messages earlier this year suggested Hancock's team asked whether they could "lock up" Farage, after the then-health secretary raised an alert about him.

That came in response to Farage posting on Twitter a video of himself enjoying a pint in Kent, on the day pubs reopened after a partial lifting of lockdown restrictions.

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Farage had been filmed a fortnight earlier attending a Donald Trump rally in the United States and rules at the time meant people coming into England from overseas should isolate for 14 days.

He insisted at the time he had completed 14 days of isolation and tested negative – though admitted to the Telegraph in March he was "probably in breach", but also hit out at "pipsqueak" Hancock.

Farage said: "After the first set of lockdowns I wasn’t really prepared for some little pipsqueak like Matt Hancock to tell me how to live my life, quite frankly.

"The idea that headmaster Hancock was after me – I love it."

Just a month into lockdown restrictions, back in April 2020, Hancock publicly called for Hancock to be sacked as health secretary.

He talked about "the smell of failure" being in the air as he ridiculed claims about PPE supplies and NHS resources, adding: "The time has come to remove Hancock. This must happen quickly."

Hancock remained health secretary until resigning in June 2021 after The Sun revealed images of him cuddling and kissing senior aide Gina Coladangelo in breach of lockdown restrictions.

He left his wife Martha, mother of his three children, for Coladangelo who greeted him when voted out of the jungle last November.

Farage himself has faced a backlash from some I'm A Celeb fans after his imminent arrival was announced, with some boycott vows.

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Hancock has announced he's stepping down from his West Suffolk seat at the next general election, amid local opposition.

He's taken part in other reality TV shows while remaining an MP including Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which he described as "one of the most difficult things I've ever done".

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