Matt Hancock was paid £45,000 to appear in an upcoming series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, it has been revealed.
The former health secretary – who finished third on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! – declared the payment in an update to the MPs’ Register of Interests published on Wednesday.
It showed the MP spent 80 hours filming the Channel 4 programme while parliament was in recess between late September and early October – shortly before heading to Australia to appear in the jungle.
Mr Hancock is yet to declare the amount he was paid to appear on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, which finished on Sunday, but it has been suggested his fee was significantly higher – with reports of around £400,000.
His appearances on the two shows have proved controversial, with his decision to head to Australia resulting in him losing the Conservative whip and putting his future as an MP in jeopardy.
He was also criticised by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), which scrutinises former minister’s jobs, for failing to seek its advice on both of his TV appearances.
But Acoba chair Lord Pickles said it would be “disproportionate” to take any further action against him. His appearance on Celebrity SAS is expected to air in early 2023.
Tory councillors in Mr Hancock’s constituency questioned his future, as speculation has mounted over whether he will have the whip restored and will seek to stand again at the next election.
He has “no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics”, according to his team. But Tory councillor Ian Houlder said he has “got absolutely no honour as far as the residents of West Suffolk are concerned”.
Mr Holder added: “He probably realises the game is up but there’s no urgency for him personally to give up his cushy job as an MP not representing anybody as an independent and lasting out until the next election which is a couple of years away.”
Politicians could be banned from appearing on reality TV under plans laid before parliament on Wednesday. The Liberal Democrats tabled a motion – dubbed the “Bushtucker Bill” – calling for new rules to prevent MPs from taking part while parliament is sitting.
On a final programme to air on Thursday evening, Mr Hancock has said he knew joining the ITV reality show would be “controversial” but that ultimately “millions of people” voted for him.
The MP also breaks into an Ed Sheeran song as he was reunited with his partner Gina Coladangelo, much to her embarrassment.
Meanwhile, the latest register of members’ interests show Boris Johnson continues to be put up at the expense of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB chairman and Tory donor Lord Bamford.
The former Tory prime minister said he had received “concessionary use of accommodation for me and my family in September” worth £10,000 in November – the third month in a row the Johnsons have had their accommodation paid for by Lady Bamford.
It also shows that Michael Gove was paid £12,500 for writing a weekly column for The Times during his brief spell outside – a gig he gave up when Rishi Sunak named him his levelling up secretary.