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Corbyn: Dugdale should not be suspended from Labour

Labour leader speaks after remarks from Dugdale's successor Richard Leonard.

Jeremy Corbyn: 'It's her choice to go on I'm A Celebrity.'
Jeremy Corbyn: 'It's her choice to go on I'm A Celebrity.' Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

Kezia Dugdale should not be suspended from the Labour party for going on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader was speaking after Dugdale's successor as Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, said he would hold talks with his MSPs about suspending her in the next few days.

Dugdale, who remains MSP for Lothian, has decided to leave the country to star in the hit ITV reality show in Australia, which starts on Sunday.

The decision has drawn strong criticism from within her own ranks.

Holyrood party colleague Jenny Marra tweeted: "Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people.

"It's not a shortcut to celebrity."

However, the party's UK leader has said suspending Dugdale would not be an "appropriate" response to her choice to go the ITV show.

Corbyn said: "It's her choice to go on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

"I don't think it's appropriate to suspend someone from the party for doing that, that's her choice."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1402512-leonard-dugdale-may-be-suspended-in-next-few-days/ | default

Leonard's victory in the leadership contest sparked by Dugdale's surprise resignation in August was partly overshadowed by news of his predecessor's imminent trip to Australia.

He defeated rival Anas Sarwar following a months-long campaign, winning a total of 56.7% of the vote.

The new Scottish Labour leader admitted he had been "a bit disappointed" by Dugdale's decision.

When asked by STV News if she would be suspended, Leonard said: "Well we will need to have a discussion as a group next week.

"I think we will arrive at a collective decision.

"There is no doubt that when I heard the news this morning and saw some of the social media comments coming in there was a big frenzy of reaction against it.

"But I think we will need to give it due consideration as a group over the course of the next few days."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1402509-richard-leonard-elected-as-new-scottish-labour-leader/ | default

A source close to Dugdale earlier said she would donate her MSPs' salary while abroad to charity and part of her fee for appearing on the show.

The source described her invite to the programme as a "fantastic opportunity... to speak about politics and Labour values on one of the most popular and watched TV shows in the UK".

The last politician to appear on I'm A Celebrity was Nadine Dorries, Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, in 2012.

Dorries was heavily criticised for the decision and was also briefly suspended from the Conservative party.

https://stv.tv/news/entertainment/1402508-ex-labour-leader-kezia-dugdale-to-star-on-i-m-a-celebrity/ | default

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