ICYMI: Matt Hancock and Manston -this week’s five biggest stories, explained

You’ll be relieved to hear that no prime ministers have resigned this week.

Instead of a regime change, we have the man you entrusted with you and your family’s health and freedom appearing on reality TV.

If that doesn’t trigger the existential dread needed to justify a pint tonight, then we also have some possible human rights violations for you.

Locked up children chanting ‘freedom’ essentially getting called ‘invaders’ by the Government should upgrade that beer to a spirit – make sure it’s a double.

And if you have anything to say about any of this, you can always take comfort in the fact that the martyr who is Elon Musk is working on finally giving you free speech.

Just make sure you’re budgeting $8 a month for it – there’s nothing that free about it.

You should be right about ready to do some shots, text your ex and spend tomorrow wondering if all your friends hate you.

You’re welcome.

Matt Hancock signs up to ‘I’m a Celebrity’

Right so we all know why Mr Hancock has had a bit of free time on his hands.

The former health secretary was caught having an office affair during a time when his own rules forbid people from seeing their own family members.

The scandal led to his resignation and, clearly, he’s had nothing better to do than read Metro.co.uk’s ICYMI pieces every Saturday.

Because there cannot possibly be another reason for Mr Hancock’s decision to appear on this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

The man has clearly developed a love for good content, because his commitment to providing it has been unwavering – qualities his soon-to-be ex-wife will be shocked to see he has.

Mr Hancock had the whip withdrawn after his involvement in the show was announced on Tuesday.

He has taken three weeks off work to appear on the show, which is filmed more than 10,000 miles from his constituency.

He has faced relentless backlash since the announcement, with many angry about the West Suffolk MP dissapearing during a cost of living crisis.

Piers Morgan ripped into the politician, calling him an ‘attention-seeking, perma-grinning, gopher of a man’.

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The TV presenter blasted Mr Hancock’s plans to ‘spend several weeks in a jungle in Australia, pocketing a massive fee on top of his MP’s salary, eating kangaroo testicles for public delectation’.

Mr Hancock has defended his appearance, claiming it will help him communicate with the British people, including those who are politically disengaged.

He said: ‘Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV?

‘And there are many ways to communicate. It’s one of the many important things I learnt during the pandemic.’

Somehow, Mr Hancock is not the only politician who has thought it would be a good idea to eat bugs at the whim of a public vote.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries featured in the 2012 series but was the first star eliminated.

Conservative Party politician and Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley starred in the 2017 series – which was won by Made In Chelsea’s Georgia Toffolo.

Bookies are predicting that Mr Hancock will break records as the most nominated contestant to take on the infamous Bushtucker trials, as people seek to get revenge for his incompetence during the pandemic.

TL;DR: ‘Get me out of here’ – Quote from ITV or a Covid inquiry?

Manston immigration centre 

Appalling conditions suffered by 4,000 asylum seekers, including children, in the Manston immigration centre (only built for 1,500) have been exposed.

People being held there are deprived of beds, fresh air and contact with the outside world.

Scabies and diphtheria have broken out in the centre, in Kent, where children chanted ‘freedom’ at reporters after being allowed outside into a fenced-off area on Monday.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons said ‘exhausted detainees were sleeping on the floor’ of the converted military centre.


People are only meant to stay at the facility for 24 hours while they get processed, but some have been there for more than a month.

Things got significantly worse at the centre this week, after 700 migrants had to be transferred there on Sunday.

This is because where they were staying in Dover, the Western Jet Foil site, was firebombed by an attacker who later took his own life.

This man is believed to be Andrew Leak, from High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, who posted Islamaphobic rants on Facebook.


One post, from July 24, read: ‘All Muslims are guilty of grooming, they never spoke out because it wasn’t their daughters, f** animals wake up up.

‘They only rape non-Muslims that’s a religious hate crime are you f** stupid.’

TL;DR: A man whose country colonised about a quarter of the world’s land surface gave his life to have a (dangerous) moan about immigration.

Suella Braverman

Ms Braverman martyred herself as the politician of integrity when her resignation letter singled her out as the only part of LIz Truss’s government ‘taking responsibility for mistakes’.

Rishi Sunak re-hired her just six days after she was forced to quit for breaching the ministerial code, and this has been backfiring ever since.

More details about the breach have emerged, with the politician admitting to sending six government emails to her phone.

It has also come out that Ms Braverman took hours to report the mistake – contrary to her original claim that she went ‘rapidly to officials’.

She reportedly told a mystery person to ‘delete and ignore’ the top secret email when they noticed the oversight.

Mr Sunak has been pressured to address claims Ms Braverman, dubbed ‘Leaky Sue’ in Whitehall, is a ‘threat to national secuity’.

As the last few months have shown, the Conservative Party is not one to limit itself to on scandal at a time.

On top of the small issue of national security, Ms Braverman has come under intense heat for what’s happening at the Manston immigration centre.

She called the number of people making the treacherous journey to the UK ‘an invasion on our southern coast’.

She said: ‘Let’s stop pretending they are all refugees in distress – the whole country knows that is not true. We need to be straight with the public.

‘The system is broken, illegal migration is out of control and too many people are more interested in playing political parlour games to cover up the truth than solve the problem.’


Ms Braverman visited the Western Jet Foil site on Thursday, when she was booed as she arrived via a Chinook helicopter, which reportedly costs £3,500 an hour to fly.

She spent the day touring immigration centres in Kent, including Manston – where she spent 30 minutes speaking to staff and being shown around.

Downing Street said she was there to ‘receive an update on the situation on the ground’.

More than 1,000 have been moved from Manston in the past five days.

TL;DR: Because everyone knows terrifying invasions happen in dinghies.

Twitter/Elon Musk

The world’s richest man is certainly having fun with his new toy.

Mr Musk’s $44 billion deal finally went through last Thursday, leaving him in charge of one of the most influential platforms on the planet.

The billionaire has long promised to make changes to the social media site, promising to turn it into something that champions free speech.

One of his first idea was to introduce a system were users are charged $20 a month to get or keep their blue tick – a symbol Twitter currently uses verify the identity of an account.

Turns out Mr Musk’s version of ‘for the people’ very much depends on their wallets.

$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.

The pitch has not been popular, with author Stephen King tweeting: ‘$20 a monthto keep my blue check? They should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron’.

Mr Musk responded to the horror writer: ‘[W]e need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?’

It now looks like this is the price Mr Musk will be trying to push ahead with.

If you’re a bit confused as to how having to pay for verification is sticking it to the man – don’t worry we are too.

But Mr Musk did try to clear everything up for us, when he explained that his plan to charge for a blue tick came from a Monty Python sketch.


The episode sees Michael Palin pays a fee at a clinic in order to have a spat with John Cleese.

As ridiculous as this sounds, we at Metro.co.uk can be sure we’re reporting the truth because Mr Musk tweeted about it himself.

And, in a dig so unsubtle it feel necessary to disclaim it’s coming, we know it was Mr Musk tweeting because he has a blue tick that other accounts with his name cannot just buy.

The SpaceX boss has also unleashed a wave of sackings since taking over Twitter, with staff waking up to find they have lost their jobs rather unceremoniously – being logged out of their laptops and emailed overnight.

Employees claim the company is eliminating workers without enough notice in violation of federal and California law.

The company is being sued over this in a class-action lawsuit filed in a San Francisco federal court on Friday.

TL;DR: He’s not the Messiah – he’s a very naughty boy.

Angry potato

Last but not least, we have a potato.

A food that always lives up to its hype – in whatever form it takes.

And now it’s doing what us overly polite, frigid Brits have never quite got the hang of – expressing emotion.

To be clear: We’re talking about an angry potato found in Sheffield.

It’s not yet known where it came from – a fancy dress costume perhaps, or it escaped being made into chips – but it certainly isn’t happy about it.

Journalist and teacher Lindsay Pantry tweeted on Tuesday: ‘Did you lose your giant potato friend at the Sheffield University Regent Street car park? If so, he’s b****y fuming.’

A couple of hours later she followed up the tweet to say ‘he’s still there’, with a picture taken from further away and the hash tag #potatowatch.

But the sadly the potato came to a grisly end and was pictured decapitated on the floor on Wednesday.

The owner of the potato has so far been impossible to track down by Metro.co.uk but we have the best of us deployed on this important mission.

TL;DR: This type of story is the reason we journalists come to work everyday.

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