Back to the day job! Matt Hancock returns to Commons to push for dyslexia screening legislation after stint in the I’m A Celeb jungle

  • Matt Hancock is returning to Commons action following I’m A Celeb appearance
  • Former health secretary is proposing legislation on boosting dyslexia screening
  • Mr Hancock currently sitting as an independent after Tory whip was suspended 

Matt Hancock is getting back to his day job at the House of Commons today as he pushes for dyslexia screening legislation.

Fresh from his stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle, the former health secretary will urge MPs to support his proposed Bill as a matter of ‘social and economic justice’.

He smiled for photographers this morning as he arrived at Westminster by car.  

Mr Hancock is currently the independent MP for West Suffolk, having had the Conservative whip suspended for choosing to go on the reality show when the House was sitting.

Putting his private member’s Bill before the House later, Mr Hancock – who is dyslexic – is expected to say the current approach to the condition ‘must change’.

‘It is not only an issue of morality, but also of both social and economic justice,’ he will say.

Fresh from his stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle (right), Matt Hancock (pictured left arriving at Parliament today) will urge MPs to support his proposed Bill as a matter of ‘social and economic justice’

Former Cabinet minister Mr Hancock came third in the latest series of the ITV reality show

Ministers considered a ‘bonkers plan’ to release thousands of prisoners during the Covid lockdown, Matt Hancock has revealed in explosive diaries that lift the lid on the inside story of the pandemic.

The former health secretary’s eagerly awaited book, Pandemic Diaries, details the extraordinary drama, feuds, cock-ups, failures and triumphs of the Government’s battle to cope with a once-in-a-century crisis.

The diaries will be serialised exclusively in the Daily Mail from Saturday, with the first extracts available on The Mail+ from 5pm.

While his jungle jaunt drew criticism from colleagues, including Rishi Sunak, Mr Hancock has ‘no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics’, according to his team.

Tory MPs have been given until Monday December 5 to declare their intention to re-run at the next general election, expected to be in 2024.

The second reading of Mr Hancock’s Dyslexia Screening And Teacher Training Bill is third on the Commons order paper, meaning it is likely to be heard before the end of business.

Such pieces of legislation rarely make the statute book unless there is near-unanimous support in Parliament or the government adopts them. 

Mr Hancock will tell MPs: ‘So we rightly screen for physical health conditions to provide the support to individuals, so why don’t we screen for neurological conditions, too?

‘My Bill today would result in every child being screened for dyslexia in primary schools and giving teachers the adequate level of training to be able to teach dyslexic children properly.’

He will call it an ‘outrage’ that ‘while every teacher is a teacher of a dyslexic child, teachers do not need to be trained to support dyslexic children’.

‘This leaves thousands of dyslexic children left in the classroom without the education they need and deserve.’

‘It is a scandal that only one in every five dyslexic children leave school identified with their dyslexia. That means 80 per cent of dyslexics go on to further education or into the world of work not knowing that they have a neurological condition, but just thinking they are bad at reading.’

As is normal procedure, other MPs can join the debate and representatives for both the Government and Opposition will have their say.

Some might take the opportunity to have a dig at Mr Hancock’s TV escapades since it will be their first chance to put their views to him directly in the House.

The former Cabinet minister last spoke in the Commons on October 17, when he welcomed the ‘return of an iron-clad fiscal responsibility’ and asked Chancellor Jeremy Hunt if the OBR forecasts would show debt shrinking as a proportion of national income.

Mr Hancock, who was diagnosed with dyslexia at university, had vowed to use the ‘incredible platform’ offered by I’m A Celebrity to raise awareness of the learning difficulty.

Reflecting on his school days from the jungle, he said he ‘desperately wanted to learn’ but struggled with English.

He said the moment his dyslexia was identified he realised his ‘brain works differently’ and he can ‘work on that’.

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