Kezia Dugdale has admitted she must “make amends” following her controversial appearance on an ITV reality show but refused to confirm what percentage of her fee would be donated to charity.
The former Scottish Labour leader was voted off I’m A Celebrity, Get Met Out of Here on Sunday after flying to Australia last month to make a sudden entrance on the long-running programme - despite being a serving list MSP for the Lothians.
Ms Dugdale has donated her Holyrood salary for the duration of her trip to an Edinburgh-based charity and pledged to donate a proportion of her ITV fee to similar good causes.
Pressed to reveal just how much that would entail during a BBC interview, she blamed contractual reasons for being unable to discuss it.
“Naturally as a politician I will have to declare any earnings I got from the programme through the normal processes and of course I will do that,” she told presenter Victoria Derbyshire.
“I haven’t been paid my full fee yet from ITV. The minute that my contract allows me to do that detail I will. I donated my salary before I left to the Rock Trust in Edinburgh, which supports vulnerable children at risk of homelessness.”
But the BBC host fired back: “You don’t have to tell us how much you were paid, but you can tell me what proportion you are keeping and what proportion you are donating in percentage terms? Is it 10 per cent, 50 per cent?”
Dugdale insisted she couldn’t answer “for contractual reasons” but added: “I will say that over the last few years I have donated more than £20,000 of external earnings to charities. I will do my bit.”
Speaking from Australia via videolink, Dugdale admitted she had some work to do to “make amends” following her jungle adventure but felt the experience was definitely worth it.
Asked by Derbyshire if she would be remembered for her time in the jungle mainly for drinking a milkshake of ostrich and pig anuses, the MSP said it was light entertainment. “It’s important for people to see politicians sometime make light of themselves,” she said.
The former party boss plans to speak with new Scottish Labour Richard Leonard before she returns to Scotland, insisting she remains committed to her parliamentary role and constituents.
She said: “I do understand there are some people at home unhappy with my decision and I do have some work to do to make amends. But please don’t doubt that I’m committed to the Labour party. I love my job, and I think I’m better placed to do it having had this experience.
“I’m very happy with Richard as the new leader and support him in all his endeavours and I’ll serve him in whatever way he thinks it is appropriate to do this.”