Matt Hancock has been interrogated by SAS veterans about his lockdown affair during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Appearing on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares, the former Health Secretary was blindfolded, bundled into a cell and questioned about the 2021 scandal. The former special forces operatives said they chose that line of questioning because the nation wanted to understand Hancock’s decision-making.
The ex commandos accused him of “weak leadership” – something Hancock confessed to. It came after the West Suffolk MP failed a high assault course – and took a muddy beating from former Premier League footballer Jermaine Pennant.
The interrogation featured in the opening episode of the new series, which was filmed in jungles of northern Vietnam. Hancock is the target of repeated criticism during the episode, with directing staff describing him as having “a bit of an attitude and thinks he’s above everyone”.
In one scene, the ex-SAS members shove Hancock into a swollen river. And, in another, they order him to stop running “like a ******* ostrich”.
During the interrogation, Chris Oliver, says to Hancock: “You think ‘**** this, I’m going to have a bit of that. I’m going to break the rules here, I’m going to break the rules on a number of occasions.’ From sitting on this side of the table that’s exactly how it went down.”
Later in the show, the SAS instructors are asked about the interrogation. Instructor Mark “Billy” Billingham, who did not take part, said the team did not have “time” to get “everything” they wanted out of Mr Hancock.
He added: “We wanted to get to really know who he was going for… and his decision making… and yeah, we pushed as far as we could to get it out of him
“I want to know, we all wanted to know… and yeah, I guess a nation does want to know, so we got as far as we could with him but it was hard work.”
Hancock responded by claiming that, during his extra-marital affair with Gina Coladangelo, he was “very careful” not to break the law – but admitted did not think about guidance that the Government was putting out at the time.
The special forces staff were less than impressed with his reply. Jason “Foxy” Fox, says: “When we dish out a set of orders, we ******* live our life by that as well.”
Former United States Marine Rudy Reyes said he wanted to get know Mr Hancock as “nobody likes him”.
He said: “I just wanted to take him as a recruit, and let his actions and how he shows up for each task and how he conducts himself, that would dictate the way that I would treat (him) but we did notice quite quickly, he can’t take criticism and we don’t like that.
“There’s no time to bark orders… we’ve got a training schedule, we’ve got things to do and that will get (us) thrown off course and be horrible so that’s why it comes across that way.”
Former footballer Jermaine Pennant has revealed he was given permission to hit former health secretary Matt Hancock when they both competed on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
When asked what was going on in his head during his competition with Mr Hancock, Pennant said he just thought about “not losing”.
He added: “It probably doesn’t matter about the fight, then after that it was like do not lose, it probably doesn’t matter about the fight… do not (be on) the losing side because I would not be allowed to walk the streets again.
“I was just very grateful that I won and I saved face.”
Hancock lost the Tory whip over his appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and his earnings from reality programmes have been revealed on the MPs’ register of interests.
His stint in the Australian jungle on the ITV reality show earned him £320,000 last year, of which £10,000 was donated to charity.
The MP said he made donations to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and the British Dyslexia Association from his fee, adding that the £10,000 he gave away was more than his monthly salary as an MP which is around £7,000 per month.
Mr Hancock, who has said he will stand down at the next general election, earned £45,000 for taking part in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
– Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins returns to Channel 4, online and on TV at 9.30pm on September 26 and continues on Sundays from October 1.