Ahead of the general election on Thursday, former Liberal Democrats MP Lembit Opik has insisted that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is ‘finished’ as the British public don’t find him personable or relatable anymore

Former Liberal Democrats MP and I’m A Celebrity star Lembit Opik has slammed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of the general election on Thursday, 4 July.

The PM looks set to lead his party to a dire defeat at the polls this week but has suggested he could battle on as leader of the Conservative Party. It is widely expected Mr Sunak would stand down, with senior Tories already plotting a takeover of his job. Now, former Liberal Democrats MP Opik has agreed that Prime Minister Sunak is ‘finished’.

Speaking exclusively to The Mirror, Mr Opik made a cutting comment about Prime Minister Sunak, as he mocked that he ‘might as well’ try and find a new job because ‘he won’t have anything else to do after July’. Mr Opik went on to predict that the Conservative party will finally lose their place in government.

“I can’t see a way back for the Conservatives. The thing is, even the Conservatives can’t see a way back for their own party – so that says enough. Tories with big majorities think that they will never lose. The are not debating about winning, instead, they’re deciding how much they are going to lose by. The best case scenario, in my opinion is that Labour don’t get an overall majority, but there isn’t a soul in parliament who thinks that Labour won’t have more seats than anyone else.

PM Rishi Sunak is ‘finished’ according to Lembit Opik (
Getty Images)

“The Tories have given up, and Rishi Sunak is finished. Mr Sunak is so much worse than Boris Johnson ever was – in electoral terms. All of the criticism of Johnson was a Westminster debate, however, if you asked the public now who they would rather see run the country or walking into their local coffee shop, they would say Johnson. He still has the big mojo – he can’t run the country because he’s been pushed out by his own party, but he’s a million times better than Sunak. Mr Sunak is a nice bloke, but he’s more of an accountant – not much personality there and very relatable to the British public.”

It comes after Mr Opik slammed ITV bosses for banning politicians from I’m A Celebrity ahead of the 2024 series. Previous politicians who have gone Down Under include the equally divisive Nigel Farage and Matt Hancock. Other MPs or former MPs to have made an appearance include Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, Edwina Currie, Nadine Dorries, and of course, Lembit, 59.

However, as this year’s series of the ITV reality show is set to fall around the time the UK could call a General Election in the later half of 2024 – the series airs in November and December – having any politicians in the line-up is said to be virtually impossible due to strict Ofcom rules ahead of the official polls.

Big names including former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss had been touted as possible celebrities being lined up for this year’s series, but Ofcom has issued a strict warning to broadcasters that they could face hefty fines if TV and radio shows are hosted by politicians and break impartiality rules that could sway the vote.

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Any candidates standing for election will be banned from hosting or appearing on programmes during the campaign period. Ofcom broadcasting director Cristina Nicolotti Squires told the BBC’s Radio 4’s Media Show earlier this month: “If broadcasters want to take the risk of having a high-profile politician who’s not standing for a seat hosting a programme, they’re going to have to work bloody hard to make sure that those programmes are duly impartial. And we will come down on them like a ton of bricks [if they aren’t].”

Lembit starred on I’m A Celeb in 2010 (
Ken McKay)

The former politician feels that Mr Sunak is ‘finished’ (
Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
The Ofcom rules mean TV bosses are unlikely to get a politician on this year’s I’m A Celeb, just in case. Now, Lembit, who was the first ever politician to appear on the show back in 2010, has called ITV producers ‘nuts’ for not allowing MP’s on the upcoming series. The former Liberal Democrats MP, has insisted that ITV are being ‘more political than ever’ by banning individuals in government.

Speaking exclusively to The Mirror, the former I’m A Celebrity star, who lost his seat to the Tories in the General Election that year, argued: “It’s nuts, it’s absolutely nuts to not let politicians go into the jungle. Maybe they thought it was going to clash with the general election, but in that case, as well as ruining his party’s chances by deciding to have the election in July, Rishi Sunak has also ruined ITV’s plans and strategy to allow politicians on the show.

“The reason I think it’s crazy is because I was the one person who defended Matt Hancock when he went into the jungle, and I was right. The public agreed with me in the end, and he came third which shows a lot. I was totally supportive of Nigel Farage going in too, and I was right again – he did well.

“It did me good when I went in there and I would have gone in even if I’d been an MP. I had lost seat when I went in, but I still would have even if I didn’t. I defended Nadine Dorries and she went on to become a Government Minister after being in the jungle. At the end of the day, if they want ratings, they should get the people who are most interesting and I just honestly think it’s crazy to simply exclude an entire profession just because they got heat for it in the past.”

Arguing his point further, Lembit insisted that politicians deserve a chance to show their real personalities and true nature to the public, and be given a chance to finally be ‘humanised’ rather than seen as the enemy. “If the individuals are human in the first place, I think they deserve the chance, although it could do some harm too. Some people come out looking worse because frankly you see people in their true colours, and it’s a very stressful environment, and so it doesn’t create character but it reveals the true nature of people.

“You saw the real Farage and you saw the real Hancock, and they are both nicer people than the mainstream media has made them out to be – we saw that. If there is any other reason why ITV have decided to exclude politicians other than the general election, then they are not living in reality because millions of people voted with their phones to keep those politicians in the jungle. It’s beyond me why ITV would censor the political world just because some people criticise us for having this job. Maybe they expected Farage, and Hancock, and me to crash and burn but we didn’t and maybe that was disappointing for them.”

Lembit Opik was speaking to the Mirror on behalf of Instant CasinosFollow Mirror Celebs on TikTok , Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads.