Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale ‘to join I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here’

Chantal Da Silva
The politician is reportedly flying to Australia to take part in the show: Getty

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is reportedly set to appear on this year’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, which launches this weekend.

The member of the Scottish Parliament appears set to join well-known figures, including Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, former footballer Dennis Wise and Independent columnist Shappi Khorsandi.

ITV has said reports of the politician joining the show “are speculation”, adding that they “are not commenting on them”.

But Ms Dugdale’s successor Richard Leonard appeared to let the cat out of the bag when he said he was a “bit disappointed” by her decision, and that the party would consider if she should be suspended as a result.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also weighed in, however, saying he does not believe Ms Dugdale should be suspended over the move.

“It’s her choice to go on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, I don’t think it’s appropriate to suspend someone from the party for doing that. That’s her choice,” Mr Corbyn said.

Five years ago, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries had the party whip withdrawn after she appeared on the programme.

Ms Dugdale stepped down as leader in August, after taking on the role in the wake of the 2015 general election.

Mr Leonard, today won the votes of 12,469 party members and supporters, with 9,516 backing his rival, party health spokesman Anas Sarwar.

His victory was somewhat overshadowed by news of his predecessor’s plans to appear on the survival reality game show.

Ms Dugdale is reportedly set to fly to Australia to take part in the programme this week.

It is understood the politician will donate her MSP salary to charity while she is away, the BBC has reported.

Reports of her television appearance have sparked backlash, with Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra tweeting: “Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people. It’s not a shortcut to celebrity.”

The MSP for North East Scotland also questioned whether the news was an “April fool in November”.

SNP MSP James Dornan said: “We all accept the new Scottish Labour leader is going to be a disaster, but surely this is a little bit extreme Kezia.”

Others took a more light-hearted tone, with MP Stewart McDonald tweeting: “@kezdugdale doing I’m a Celeb... @RuthDavidsonMSP on Bake Off... Do the @RuPaulsDragRace producers have my number?”

Ms Dugdale said she had left the party “in better shape than I found it” following her resignation.

She said the party needed a leader with “fresh energy, drive and a new mandate” to take the party into the Holyrood elections in 2021.

Additional reporting by AP