Kezia Dugdale lands £70,000 for appearing on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale trousered £70,000 for her appearance on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, it was announced today.
After paying income tax in both the UK and Australia the MSP took home a total of £45,000 for her two weeks time in the jungle last year.
Ms Dugdale’s latest entry in the Scottish Parliament’s register of interests also shows she received at least another £10,000 worth of travel and accommodation for her time on the programme.
She has donated £5,100 of her earnings to charity, along with her £2,500 parliamentary salary for the time she was on the show.
Ms Dugdale was rebuked by new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard for leaving her parliamentary duties to take part in the show, but was not suspended.
Before heading Down Under, she defended her decision to appear, saying it was a chance to spread her party's message to a big audience. She also insisted that the show's bosses cut her time on the programme short so she could return to her work as an MSP as quickly as possible.
"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. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to talk to young people who watch this programme about politics, and - in particular - Labour values," she said.
In a statement today 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.
But she came under fire from SNP MSPs Linda Fabiani and Christine Grahame, who are both deputy presiding officers in the Scottish Parliament.
They put out a statement criticising Ms Dugdale’s appointment to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, which is responsible for managing property, staff and services at Holyrood.
The pair said: “We did not think it appropriate that, given Ms Dugdale abandoned her parliamentary duties for I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, she should then be our representative on the parliament’s corporate body.”