I’m a Celebrity: Kezia Dugdale plans to stand again at the next election
Kezia Dugdale is donating her MSP’s salary while she’s on the reality TV show to youth homelessness charity the Rock Trust
Kezia Dugdale - Image credit: David Anderson/Holyrood
Kezia Dugdale plans to stand again at the next election, she has said in video to constituents, recorded prior to jetting off to Australia to appear in reality TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
In the video, produced to explain her decision to take part in the programme, Dugdale said that “the minute” she leaves Australia she would head back in the Scottish Parliament, adding that she was committed to her job as an MSP “for the long term”.
The former Scottish Labour leader has donated her £2,500 salary as an MSP for the three weeks she is away to the Rock Trust, a charity that supports young people at risk of homelessness.
A portion of her appearance fee for the show – which she said cannot be disclosed currently for contractual reasons – will also be donated to the charity on her return.
Dugdale’s decision to appear in the show while sitting as an MSP has been controversial.
New Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard initially suggested she could be suspended by the party after she decided to take part without permission.
It has now been confirmed that Dugdale will not be suspended, but she will be “interviewed” on her return to parliament to account for her actions, Scottish Labour business manager James Kelly has said.
Dugdale acknowledged that her decision to appear on the show would be “quite a controversial move” for many constituents, but claimed it would give her a chance to talk about politics on national TV.
In the video statement, she said: “I appreciate that to quite a few of my constituents, this is quite a controversial move.
“I know there will be people that are upset about it, who will question my priorities.
“So I wanted to take a little minute to explain why I’m doing this and hope that I can get your support for the adventures ahead.
“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.”
She said that the first time she was approached to do this programme, she turned it down because it would have involved being away for five weeks, but accepted after the show came back to her with a deal that would only require her to be away for three weeks and two days.
She continued: “So the minute that I leave Australia I’ll be coming back to the Scottish Parliament to do my job as Labour MSP for Edinburgh and the Lothians, and I’m committed to doing that for the long-term and I hope to stand at the next election again as well.”
“I appreciate, however, that I am away whilst I’m supposed to be doing my job, and that’s why I have donated my salary for the whole time that I am in Australia to the Rock Trust.”
Dugdale ends by asking constituents to tune in and wish her luck, adding that they would have the chance to “vote me out when the time comes”.
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