Dugdale vows to face I'm a Celebrity criticism head-on

The former Scottish Labour leader was evicted from the show on Sunday evening.

Crikey: Kezia Dugdale was the second celebrity to be voted off the show. ITV Studios

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has vowed to face her critics head-on after being voted off I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

The Labour MSP was the second person to be voted out of the camp on Sunday.

Her decision to leave her duties at Holyrood behind for the reality show has been criticised by some of her fellow Labour MSPs.

Dugdale was not given permission by her party to star on the show and will face an interview upon her return to explain her decision.

She told STV's Lorraine that she knew starring in the reality TV show "was going to be a big gamble for me politically".

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"I know I'm going back to a good deal of criticism and I will take that face on, I've got to have a lot of conversations with people but I'm going back with my head held high," she said.

"I came out here to do what I wanted to do, I believe I've succeeded in that and I love my job, it's a great privilege to be a Labour politician and I fully intend on continuing to do it for a very long time.

"The way I look at it is this is the most watched family TV programme in the history of TV, so to speak, and it's watched largely by young people aged 18 to 24."

She added: "That is the very group of people who are least engaged with politics so a big part of why I wanted to do this was to go out there and show people that politics matters, that there is a big difference between the two major parties, that your vote does count, to encourage young people to vote, because it's only if young people vote that they will get the type of change that they want to see in their country."

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Despite being voted off the show, Dugdale will not return to Scotland until after the final episode airs on December 10.

During her remaining time in Australia she will stay at the five-star Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast alongside other axed campmates and their families.

The 36-year-old will not see her partner, SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth, until she comes back to Scotland.

"It was incredibly difficult to go a good two weeks without even seeing a picture or hearing her voice," Dugdale said.

"Lots of couples have to spend time apart for their work or for whatever other reason but this was a bit different.

"I got to speak to her as soon as I left camp but that was filmed for ITV2 so we couldn't really have a proper chat but when I got back to the hotel we had a decent chat on FaceTime for half an hour or so and that was just lovely."

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