• STV
  • MySTV

Kezia Dugdale: I'm used to dealing with rats and snakes

Former Scottish Labour leader more worried about insects as she enters I'm A Celebrity.

Jungle: Kezia and a Koala.
Jungle: Kezia and a Koala. REX

Kezia Dugdale has said she is used to dealing with rats and snakes in a thinly-veiled swipe at Scottish politics ahead of her appearance on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

The MSP's entrance was teased on Wednesday night's show and as she prepares for the jungle, Dugdale said her biggest worries were insect-related.

The former Scottish Labour leader said she was well practised in the art of "dealing with rats and snakes", but added: "I've never had to deal with creepy crawlies before."

"I ran upstairs when I saw a spider the other day and I've got a big fear of birds that stems from when I saw a scary picture of a pigeon as a toddler," she added.

Dugdale has faced accusations of taking an "unauthorised leave of absence" to appear on the programme, but will not face suspension from her party.

She said she expected colleagues to be "angry" about her decision to head to Australia, but that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would be "pretty relaxed".

She added: "I think he will have a good laugh at my expense. I think he will be more than happy to see me do it."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1402806-dugdale-i-m-a-celebrity-is-an-amazing-opportunity/ | default

When quizzed over her decision last week, Corbyn said Dugdale should not be suspended, adding it was "her choice" to enter the show.

She said because of the vacant leadership role until last week, there had been "no obvious person" to seek permission from.

Of the wider party's reaction, the MSP said: "I think people's overriding emotion will be, first and foremost, of shock. I think there will be a few people angry.

"They will be angry because they will say I should be doing my day job and I am going to be away. I understand that anger."

Explaining her decision, she said she had sought permission to go abroad for three weeks to work from the two candidates bidding to succeed her as Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard and Anas Sanwar.

Leonard, who won the leadership contest last week, had claimed his predecessor had been refused permission to take part in the reality TV show.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1402603-dugdale-refused-permission-to-appear-on-i-m-a-celebrity/ | default

Dugdale said: "Did I tell anyone beforehand? Other than my partner and office manager, I didn't tell anyone about the show.

"I went to the two people who were running for Scottish leader and told them I was going abroad for three weeks to work. They were both cool with that. I will be back for the Budget in December."

She said she was inspired to take part following the death of her close friend and former Labour researcher Gordon Aikman in February. Mr Aikman campaigned about and suffered from motor neurone disease.

"He taught me so much about how important it is to live your life well and never let an opportunity go by," she said.

Dugdale said the show seemed like an "amazing opportunity to talk to millions of people about the Labour party, its values and how it is different".

"I am not going to talk about politics all the time but it is who I am, what I do and I can't help it."

The 36-year-old MSP will donate her equivalent salary of £2500 to the Rock Trust, a charity which helps prevent youth homelessness, and a portion of her fee for starring in the show.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.