Kezia Dugdale will not face Labour suspension for 'I'm a Celebrity'

Written by Tom Freeman on 22 November 2017 in News

Former leader escapes suspension amid row over reality TV appearance

Kezia Dugdale - David Anderson/Holyrood

Kezia Dugdale will not be suspended from the party over her decision to leave work to appear on a reality TV show, Scottish Labour has said.

The former leader has joined the cast of ITV's 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here', in which television personalities undertake a gruelling stay in a Australian jungle. 

Senior Labour figures were angered by the decision, which was announced hours before the new party leader was unveiled and could lead to a fortnight off her duties as an MSP.


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New leader Richard Leonard told the BBC Dugdale had asked the party for permission but it had been refused.

"Feelings are running high about it, there is no question about that,” he said.

However in a statement Scottish Labour Business Manager James Kelly said: “The Scottish Parliamentary Labour group today discussed the decision of Kezia Dugdale to take an unauthorised leave of absence from her parliamentary duties.

"Today, the group concluded that Kezia Dugdale would not face suspension. 

"In accordance with standard procedure, Kezia Dugdale will be interviewed on her return to Parliament and have the opportunity to present her account of events."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would not want one of her own MSPs to do the show, but that she would be supporting Dugdale on it.

“I am not sure I entirely understand what Kezia Dugdale thinks she will benefit from this. I am also not clear what her motivation might be. It’s not a decision I would take. I’m not sure there are many politicians who would choose to do what she is doing," she said, adding: “She’s decided to do it, so you know what: good luck to her.”

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