It has been reported the former Scottish Labour leader is receiving close to £100,000 for her appearance in the popular series. The figure has been denied by Ms Dugdale’s camp, which said the exact amount would be worked out upon her return to Scotland when she was able to examine the tax implications.
Ms Dugdale, a list MSP for the Lothians, has already pledged to give her Holyrood salary for the period to the Rock Trust, an Edinburgh charity that works with young people who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. The organisation stands to receive around £2,500.
Her supporters have also pledged to donate money raised from sales of #TeamKez T-shirts and other merchandise to charity.
The pledge comes amid reports that show insiders have been left frustrated by Ms Dugdale’s performances. She gave up seconds after starting her first live Bushtucker Trial, a challenge in which she was asked to drink a smoothie of blended animal parts.
A source told a newspaper yesterday: “Kezia has been a massive letdown. She hasn’t bonded with camp mates, has been acting superior and hasn’t broken from her politician mode.”
The source added: “Bosses were also ticked off with the live trial. They thought she was a bad sport.”
Ms Dugdale fell out further with campmate Amir Khan on last night’s episode, with the boxer labelling her “mad” after a row broke out over how many logs to use in the fire. There was friction when Ms Dugdale tried to use all the wood available at once.
However, a friend of the politician told The Scotsman that Ms Dugdale has embraced her part in the series, which is being filmed in Australia, and was receiving a warm welcome from her camp mates as well as viewers at home.
The friend said: “Kez was straight off the plane into the jungle and then went four days with just rice and beans after losing the first task. Despite all that, she’s been an absolute star, repeatedly cracking jokes at Stanley’s expense and performing brilliantly in trials.”