Kezia Dugdale’s trip to the Australian jungle could make her a “valuable commodity” should she choose to quit politics, it has been claimed.
The possibility of the former Labour leader changing career was raised by one of the UK’s leading political experts in an interview on Friday’s BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme.
Professor John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said the question of whether Ms Dugdale wanted to stay in politics was being discussed.
Ahead of her appearance on I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, Ms Dugdale said she was committed to being a Labour MSP for the long term.
Professor Curtice said “The interesting thing, of course, is what she hopes to get out of it. Maybe, she does want to stay inside politics because she wants, perhaps, to be a well-known voice in which case, if she comes out of this with her integrity intact, then she may be able to use that as a platform.
“On the other hand, if she is minded to move on from politics, maybe she wants to run a third sector organisation or become a campaigner in some way, again if she comes out of this as a well-known person, she will be a valuable commodity.”
He added: “One of the questions we are asking ourselves is: does Kezia Dugdale want to stay in Scottish politics long term?
“This may be somebody who is moving on in terms of their career and she may regard this as an opportunity to do that.”
Meanwhile Dugdale’s successor as Sottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard said he did not think going on a reality show was “a good way of getting across the message of socialism on television”. Mr Leonard was speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme.
He said: “I realise that it’s a very popular programme, which is seen by millions of people, I think it’s got the highest viewer ratings over the course of the last week, I’m not downplaying the reach that the programme has, I’m not sure the circumstances in which it presents politicians is the one that certainly I would choose, and I’m not sure it’s a good way of getting across the message of socialism on television.”
The party has said she will not face immediate suspension over her decision to take part in the programme with the likes of boxer Amir Khan and Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson but will be interviewed by party chiefs once she has returned.