Lembit Opik predicts reason for Matt Hancock’s move away from politics after I’m a Celeb appearance

Matt Hancock 'must make a choice' after I'm a Celeb appearance, says Lembit Opik. Credit: Sky News.

Lembit Opik has predicted a potential reason that Matt Hancock may move away from politics after his I’m a Celeb appearance.

The former Liberal Democrat MP, who appeared on the ITV show in 2010, spoke to Kay Burley on Sky News after Mr Hancock finished the series in third place.

Mr Opik had previously predicted that the general public would “punish the former health secretary’s controversial appearance in the reality show by voting him to do all the trials.

Today he said Mr Hancock had an important decision to make between being a celebrity or a politician – but he can’t do both.

He said: “I’m sure he is a competent politician. The general impression I get is he is regarded as smart, and I am sure people will say, ‘why didn’t we see this Matt Hancock before he went into the jungle?’

“In terms of celebrity, he needs to work out whether he has the fizz, the charisma, to be a celebrity. Michael Portillo was an unlikely celebrity, but he did well. You could say the same thing about Ann Widdecombe – they are both household names now.

“If Matt decides to go into celebrity, he will be in the Portillo mold, I think. He’s got the intelligence to do it but it is a strange career, there is a certain superficiality that goes with it. That might be something that Matt finds frustrating.”

Mr Opik then predicted that there could be a “legitimate reason” that Mr Hancock may decide to move away from politics.

“He needs to decide which direction he wants to go,” he explained. “Maybe he’s made a calculation and believes that the Tories can’t win the next election, and doesn’t want to spend seven years on the back bench.

“That could be a legitimate reason to try something else.”

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Vickie S
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Vickie Scullard

A journalist of more than 12 years from Manchester, UK, Vickie now lives in Madrid and works as a news writer for the Euro Weekly News.