Why Did Matt Hancock Just Get The Tory Whip Back?

Matt Hancock was welcomed back into the Tory fold a day after Rishi Sunak announced a general election.
Matt Hancock was welcomed back into the Tory fold a day after Rishi Sunak announced a general election. via Associated Press

Matt Hancock just got the Tory whip back, more than a year after it was removed over his stint on I’m A Celebrity.

The MP had been sitting as an independent since November 2022 and is still expected to stand down at the upcoming general election.

But, the Conservative Party have welcomed him back anyway as a “gesture of goodwill”.

Hancock wrote on social media: “I’m proud to leave Parliament as a Conservative MP after two decades serving my country in opposition and in government.

“I wish Rishi and all my colleagues all the best in the campaign to come.”

The MP for West Suffolk and former health secretary was kicked out of the party after going on the ITV reality show for weeks instead of attending to his constituents.

Hancock’s local members actually asked the Conservative chief whip not to welcome the MP back into the party back in late 2022, when he first announced he would not be standing for election again.

They said they had “no confidence” in him.

Bob Stewart also had the whip restored on Thursday.

He relinquished the whip after he was convicted of racist abuse, although he made no reference to the conviction in his resignation statement. He won the appeal to overturn the conviction in February.

The Tory MP will be standing down in six weeks’ time along with Hancock and 72 other Conservatives.

Meanwhile, Labour is facing some heat for not reinstating two famous faces – Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott – before the public hit the ballot box in July.

Both lost the whip over allegations linked to anti-semitism.

The party’s one-time leader Corbyn confirmed this morning he would be standing as an independent in his constituency of Islington North while Labour have two candidates ready to challenge him.

Keir Starmer has said the ongoing probe into Abbott is set to be completed within the coming days, when the party will decide whether to welcome her back or not ahead of the election.