There’s a rumble outside the jungle: Labour MSP and incoming I’m a Celebrity campmate Kezia Dugdale did not receive permission to join the ITV reality contest, according to the new leader of the Scottish Labour party.
Richard Leonard, who was elected as the new Scottish Labour leader on Sunday, has said Dugdale – his predecessor – was denied her trip to the Australian jungle when she asked leadership.
When Leonard was asked on BBC Radio Scotland if Dugdale had the party’s backing, he stated: “My understanding is, she sought permission and wasn’t given permission.”
And when questioned if Dugdale would face any sanctions by the party, he responded: “I’ve said over the weekend that we need to consider it and I’ve also expressed my own personal disappointment that that was a decision she has chosen to make.
“There are issues, not just the fact that she is there and the kind of programme it is and people’s view of that, there is also a question about whether she got permission to do it.”
Leonard added: “There is going to need to be a proper discussion about it, the circumstances around it and whether it is appropriate to take action or not.
“I am not persuaded the immediate step that the Labour Party needs to take is to suspend Kezia from membership of the Labour Party but I do think we need to have a discussion about it.”
Although Dugdale herself hasn’t confirmed she’ll appear on the show, Leonard’s comments suggest the MSP will join the 10 other celebs in the contest: comedian Shappi Khorsandi, Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah Vardy, boxer Amir Khan, Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley Johnson, Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine, Saturdays singer Vanessa White, YouTuber Jack Maynard, former footballer Dennis Wise, Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas and Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn also spoke out over the weekend on Dugdale’s involvement: “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.”
The Lothian MSP was leader of her party in Scotland from 2015 until August of this year when she unexpectedly quit the role with immediate effect. She has continued to serve as a backbencher in the party.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! airs nightly at 9pm on ITV