Kezia Dugdale to donate I'm A Celebrity salary to charity

22 November 2017, 14:13

The former Scottish Labour leader, who is heading into the Australian jungle for I'm A Celebrity, has defended her decision to enter the TV reality show.

Kezia Dugdale was announced as one of the contestants on Saturday - somewhat overshadowing the election of her successor for leader of Scottish Labour, after she stood down in August.

As she flies out to Australia to take part in the ITV show, Ms Dugdale launched a "TeamKez" Twitter account, and shared a video explaining her decision.

She told watchers that she would be donating the three-week salary, £2,500, to charity, because she would be away while she was meant to be working.

:: Politicians who tried to make it in reality TV

She said: "I appreciate that to quite a few of my constituents, this is quite a controversial move. I know there will be people upset about it, that will question my priorities.

"I wanted to explain why I'm doing this. First and foremost, I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here is a huge UK-wide television programme, with an audience into the millions.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity to talk to young people who watch this programme about politics, and - in particular - Labour values."

Ms Dugdale also said she turned the show down the first time she was asked because it was five weeks, but the second time, she was told it would only be three, so she took it.

New leader Richard Leonard said the party would have to consider whether it suspended her or not over her appearance, though national party leader Jeremy Corbyn said she shouldn't face any action.

:: Richard Leonard voted in as Scottish Labour leader

She also told the Sun she would be going straight back into the Scottish Parliament when she returned, and would then give away part of her payment from ITV.

She said: "There are no major pieces of legislation that I am going to miss...

"I will be interested to hear people's opinions on the world..."

In 2012, Nadine Dorries was suspended from the Conservative Party for going on the programme. She was reinstated when she returned.