Boy George has claimed that “redemption is possible” for former health secretary Matt Hancock.
The Culture Club musician, 62, appeared alongside Hancock on the ITV reality series I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! last year.
Hancock, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, has faced strong and widespread criticism in recent years for his handling of the Covid pandemic, and a June 2021 affair scandal involving Gina Coladangelo that saw the pair violate distancing guidelines on camera.
He announced in December that he would not be standing for re-election in the next General Election, having had the party whip withdrawn a month earlier, when his participation in I’m a Celebrity was confirmed.
Speaking to The Guardian, Boy George, a staunch critic of Hancock during his time on I’m a Celebrity, offered his thoughts.
“Redemption is possible for everyone: that includes Matt Hancock,” he said. “It was an interesting experience to share the jungle with him. He is who he is, I’m not for or against him, I don’t dislike him, and I believe as a person you should be redeemed for whatever you’ve done wrong.
“We are now in a WhatsApp group together with our former campmates, but I’m the worst person ever when it comes to that sort of thing – even with my own family. I’m never on it. I just can’t be bothered.”
Elsewhere in the interview, George, real name George Alan O’Dowd, discussed the British royal family, dubbing them the “best reality show in the world”.
“Art helps me stay creative. I’ve just painted a picture of Meghan Markle looking hugely annoyed at the Queen’s funeral, which I found fun to draw,” he said.
“I’m not a fan of the royals, but my mother adored Diana, Princess of Wales and I’ll never forget when their paths crossed at an event in the 90s. The late Princess of Wales spent 20 minutes speaking to her. I’ll be forever thankful for that.”
This week, Hancock gave testimony at the ongoing Covid inquiry, apologising for “every death that occurred” during the pandemic.
His statement was poorly received by many who lost loved ones in the pandemic. Lorelei King, a woman whose husband died of Covid, said: “I don’t accept his apology. None of the bereaved that I’m with accept his apology.”