But Hancock, who is due to publish a book about his time as health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic next month, appeared defiant, saying MPs should be embracing public culture.
Hancock told the Whips that he would draw huge attention to his dyslexia campaign, given that the reality program is Britain’s most-watched show on television.
“Matt doesn’t expect to serve in government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12 million Brits who tune in every single night,” a political ally of Hancock’s said.
“Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged.
“Matt’s of the view that we must embrace popular culture. Rather than looking down on reality TV, we should see it for what it is – a powerful tool to get our message heard by younger generations,” the ally said.
Producers have agreed that Hancock can communicate with his constituency staff in the event of an urgent constituency matter.
Hancock’s ally said the former minister would make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and declare any money he receives from the show to parliament.
He said Hancock initially turned down the request to appear on the show given the instability in the government at the time. But the elevation of Rishi Sunak as prime minister has stabilised the ruling Conservative Party, the ally said.
Hancock was one of the many Tory MPs who fancied himself as a future leader, but was overlooked by Sunak for a place in the cabinet.
Sunak was seen in footage, immediately after he was named as the new Conservative Party leader to replace Liz Truss, appearing to snub Hancock, as he shook hands and mingled with the many Tory MPs who supported him to become PM.
This week, Hancock decided against running for the chairmanship of one of the House of Commons select committees, which was unexpected.
It is not the first time a Tory MP has appeared on the reality show and been punished. Former cabinet minister and Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries had the whip removed after she appeared on the show during a sitting of the House of Commons.
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