I’m A Celebrity star Kezia Dugdale avoids Labour suspension

Kezia Dugdale Down Under.  Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
Kezia Dugdale Down Under. Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
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Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale won’t be suspended from the Scottish Labour Party as a result of her appearance in reality TV show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, the party has announced.

Ms Dugdale, who is expected to enter the jungle as a ‘surprise’ contestant later this week, has been sharply criticised from within the party she led until August, with newly-crowned leader Richard Leonard saying she could be suspended over the move.

READ MORE: Kezia Dugdale’s motives are unclear to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

After a crunch meeting of the party’s MSPs, however, it has been decided that the Lothians MSP won’t be immediately suspended in her absence, though could yet face disciplinary action on her return from Australia.

The party’s 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.

READ MORE: Why has Kezia Dugdale chosen to go on I’m A Celebrity?

“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.”

When the news was announced on Friday evening, MSP Jenny Marra tweeted that being elected to parliament was a privilege, not a gateway to celebrity, and many other represenatives were said to be furious at Ms Dugdale’s decision.

She will join such luminaries as boxer Amir Khan and comedienne Shapi Khorsandi on the hit show, which is presented by Ant and Dec.

A spokesman for ms Dugdale said: “Kezia will fully comply with the interview process on her return, and will get straight back to work as a Labour MSP, holding regular surgeries as she always has done and assisting Lothian constituents.”