Ex-Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale joins I’m a Celebrity

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will be going into the jungle with I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

The former leader who stepped down in August, will join Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley and Dennis Wise, a former footballer.

While the other contestants for the Australia-based show were announced on Tuesday, Ms Dugdale’s participation was announced today.


She will donate her MSP salary to charity while she is in Australia filming the show which draws around 10 million viewers.

Ms Dugdale joins boxer Amir Khan, Coronation Street’s Jennie McAlpine footballer Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah, The Saturdays singer Vanessa White and Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas.

A Scottish Labour source told the BBC that it would be a “fantastic opportunity” for her to talk about Labour policies and values.

“She puts other politicians to shame with her work ethic and I’m sure there will be huge support for her from Scottish viewers while she’s in the jungle.

“She’ll be back in time for the budget and will get straight down to work once again for the people of the Lothians,” the source added.

But not all were happy with the announcement.

Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra tweeted: “Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people. It’s not a shortcut to celebrity.”

The former leader of the Scottish Labour Party earlier this year said she was outed against her will.

Kezia Dugdale, who resigned as her party’s leader in August, says she did not consent to her sexual orientation being revealed.

Ms Dugdale says that she did not consent to left-wing magazine Fabian Review publishing the details of her private life, but they ignored her request.

The Lothian MSP says she had talked about her sexuality when asked by journalist Mary Riddell, as she did not wish to lie, but requested it be kept out of the article.

Ms Dugdale says it was far from the first time she had been asked the question, and on all previous occasions journalists had agreed to not include the fact in their write-ups.

“It wasn’t the first time I’d been asked [by journalists] about my sexuality,” she told the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

“I would always answer honestly, and then I would say, ‘I’d prefer you didn’t use that… I don’t think it matters.’

“Up until that day, everybody had respected that, and then that one journalist had decided no, it was a story,” she said.

The politician said she regretted not having “complete control” over the situation in 2016, due to being outed against her will

The Fabian Society said in a statement that the “wide-ranging and comprehensive on-the-record interview was conducted by an experienced, broadsheet journalist who followed usual journalistic practice”.

The article’s author, Mary Riddell, claimed that “at no point during the interview or afterwards did [Ms Dugdale] ask me not to publish her comments, which were recorded with her agreement.

“Nor has she ever complained to me that her on-the-record comments relating to her relationship had been published.”

Kezia Dugdale with her new partner Jenny Gilruth

Kezia Dugdale with her girlfriend, Jenny Gilruth

Ms Dugdale revealed in July that she is dating an SNP politician.

She surprised some by announcing her resignation as Labour leader.

In a resignation letter seen by The Courier, Ms Dugdale said: “I have given the task of achieving this all that I have.

“But with nearly four years now until the next Scottish Parliament elections, I am convinced that the party needs a new leader with fresh energy, drive and a new mandate to take the party into that contest.”

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Ms Dugdale said she wanted to give her successor the “space and time” to establish themselves.