Kezia Dugdale has faced ‘rats and snakes’ at Holyrood ahead of jungle debut

Kezia Dugdale is preparing to enter the jungle. Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
Kezia Dugdale is preparing to enter the jungle. Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
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LOTHIAN MSP Kezia Dugdale has said she encountered “a few rats and snakes” in her time at Holyrood as she appears on I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

The former Scottish Labour leader spoke out as she prepared to enter the jungle for the hit ITV reality programme. She is set to join her fellow contestants in the Australian jungle tonight.

The former party leader broke her social media silence on her appearance on the current series of the ITV reality show in a short Twitter video explaining her decision.

Responding to a backlash from both political colleagues and constituents following the move, the MSP 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, that 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 and I think it’s an amazing opportunity to talk to young people who watch this programme about politics and, in particular, Labour values.

“The first time I was approached to do this programme, I said no, I turned it down, because I didn’t think I could be away from my job for over five weeks.

“The show came back to me and asked me if I would do it if I could go away for just three weeks and two days, and that’s what I’m going to do.

“So the minute that I leave Australia, I’ll be coming back to the Scottish Parliament to do my job as a 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.”

Ms Dugdale has pledged to donate her parliamentary salary during her time in Australia to homelessness charity the Rock Trust for the three weeks she is away, and will give some of her fee to good causes.