Politics

I'm a Celebrity: Kezia Dugdale paid £70,000 for appearance


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Rex Features

Kezia Dugdale received a fee of £70,000 for her recent appearance on I’m a Celebrity, she has disclosed.

The former Scottish Labour leader also declared between £10,000 and £15,000 worth of travel, accommodation and living expenses, which were paid by ITV.

She has donated £5,100 of her appearance fee, as well as £2,500 of her MSP salary, to charity.

Ms Dugdale was formally reprimanded by Labour last month for her absence.

She has now published details in the Scottish Parliament’s register of interests.

The entry includes estimates of the travel and accommodation Ms Dugdale received, as well as a daily payment of 150 Australian dollars which she was given for living expenses while not in the camp.

This brought the total sum published in the entry to between £80,000 and £85,000, including her £70,000 fee.

A spokesman for Ms Dugdale said she had donated a total of £5,100 from her fee to the charities Who Cares? Scotland, Glasgow Women’s Aid, and the Archie Foundation.

Prior to appearing on the show, she also donated £2,500 of her MSP salary to the Rock Trust, an Edinburgh-based charity which supports young people at risk of homelessness.

The spokesman added: “Ms Dugdale received a fee from ITV for appearing on the TV show of £70,000.

“Income Tax has been paid both in the UK and in Australia due to the nature of the earnings, which was received in instalments. After tax, this sum is around £45,000.”

‘Drop in the ocean’

Ms Dugdale said she was pleased that a number of charities who do “amazing work across Scotland” would benefit for her stint in the jungle.

She added: “I’m delighted to be back in the parliament serving my constituents across the Lothians.”

The Scottish Conservatives said Ms Dugdale’s charity donations were a “drop in the ocean” compared to the fee she received, and described her appearance on the show as a “shameful episode”.

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Getty Images

Image caption

Ms Dugdale was reprimanded by Scottish Labour when she returned to the Scottish Parliament last month

Her time in the Australian jungle saw Ms Dugdale crawl through a tank full of fish guts that had “Sickola Sturgeon” written on the side.

The politician was introduced as one of two late-entry campmates on the ITV reality show in November, before becoming the second person evicted after lasting 11 days in the jungle.

News that she had agreed to become a contestant broke just hours before Scottish Labour was due to unveil her successor as leader.

It subsequently emerged that she had not asked the party for permission to take part.

Ms Dugdale said she wanted to use her time in the jungle to promote “Labour values”, but was heavily criticised by several colleagues.

There had been speculation that Ms Dugdale faced a possible suspension from Labour when she returned to Scotland in December.

But she was instead given a formal reprimand following a meeting with new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, and was told she would face no further disciplinary action.



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