Kezia Dugdale: ‘I bought flat with I’m a Celeb earnings’

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Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has admitted appearing on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here for the money and said she had bought a flat with her earnings.

The MSP took part in the ITV reality television show last year and was paid a £70,000 fee for a three-week trip in Australia.

Kezia Dugdale on I'm A Celbrity...Get Me Out of Here

Kezia Dugdale on I'm A Celbrity...Get Me Out of Here

She repeatedly defended her decision to appear on the show by insisting she would give a proportion of her fee to charity.

She has given away £7,500 to charities chosen by her staff but said she had made in region of £30-£40,000 after tax and used the funds to buy a property.

The Lothians MSP also told of her regret at the impact her appearance had on her successor as Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and her partner, the SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth.

Asked on BBC Radio Scotland money if money had influenced her decision to appear on the show, she said: “Yes. I earned a bit in Australia and a bit in the UK and I’m still making sure I have paid the taxes in all of the right bits.

“I did make a substantial amount, there is no hiding away from that. It’s money that’s allowed me to buy a flat and £7,500 has gone to four different charities.

“My fee overall was £70,000 so you get a flavour within that of charity and tax and all the rest of it. I walked away with £30,000 or £40,000 at least but we are still trying to work out the exact amount.”

In December, Miss Dugdale was issued with a formal warning by Mr Leonard for flying out to the jungle without first securing approval.

She added: “I deeply regret the impact it had both on Jenny and the Labour party. The way it came out was hugely damaging for Richard Leonard, the new leader of the Labour party. That wasn’t done maliciously by me and it had a terrible impact on his first few days as leader and I have apologised for that.

“Jenny had to watch people be very mean about me, some of it very fair, for the whole time I was away. She had to watch every episode, she couldn’t escape it. I did that to her and I’m very sorry for that.”

Miss Dugdale had previously argued that appearing on the show, where she sifted through maggots, raw meat, crabs and pungent fish guts, was an opportunity to promote ‘Labour values’. She appeared on screen for only 11 days before being voted off by viewers but spent three weeks in Australia.