Kezia Dugdale under fire over 7% I’m a Celeb fee donation

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Kezia Dugdale was last night under fire after it emerged she had donated just seven per cent of her £70,000 I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here fee to charity.

The former Scottish Labour leader repeatedly defended her controversial decision to take an unauthorised break from her parliamentary duties by saying she would give part of her earnings to good causes.

Kezia Dugdale in 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. Picture: ITV/Shutterstock

Kezia Dugdale in 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. Picture: ITV/Shutterstock

Yesterday the scale of her earnings came to light when she disclosed the amount she made from the reality show in her register of interests at the Scottish Parliament.

The former Labour leader registered a total remuneration of between £80,001 and £85,000 – a sum that included the £70,000 fee plus expenses such as flights and hotels and a daily payment while not in the camp in the Australian jungle.

The cash was paid by ITV Studios Limited.

Ms Dugdale released a statement saying income tax had been paid on the earnings in both the UK and Australia leaving her with £45,000.

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She also said she had donated £5,100 to three charities selected by her parliamentary staff, who ran her office while she was in Australia at the end of last year. The charities selected are Who Cares? Scotland, Glasgow Women’s Aid and the Archie Foundation.

Prior to appearing on the show, Ms Dugdale donated her £2,500 parliamentary salary for her time in Australia to the Rock Trust, an Edinburgh-based charity supporting young people at risk of homelessness.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Kezia Dugdale repeatedly suggested she would give a sizeable portion of her £80,000 fee to charity – but this is a drop in the ocean.

“In any other job, an employee going AWOL for the sake of pocketing tens of thousands of pounds would result in immediate dismissal.

“This announcement is another humiliating reminder for Labour of what was a shameful episode.”

Ms Dugdale said she had raised nearly £30,000 for charity since 2015.

She said: “I’m pleased that a number of charities which do amazing work across Scotland will benefit financially from this.

“I’m delighted to be back in the Parliament serving my constituents across the Lothians.

“I held more than 30 surgeries across the region in 2017 and I will continue to be an open and accessible MSP throughout 2018 and beyond. I also look forward to developing a number of campaigns around the Year of Young People in 2018.”

The politician spent just 12 days in the jungle where she attempted to drink blended bull’s penis and ostrich anus. She was the second celebrity to lose the public vote.

When she returned to Scotland she was issued with a written warning by party chiefs having gone on to the show without permission.

She was also barred from holding a press conference around the issue after being criticised.