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Dugdale's I'm a Celebrity appearance disappoints Leonard

The Scottish Labour leader says she is on 'unauthorised absence' from the party.

TV: Dugdale has endured her first Bushtucker Trial.
TV: Dugdale has endured her first Bushtucker Trial.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said he is "disappointed" Kezia Dugdale chose to appear on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The newly elected leader said his predecessor is on "unauthorised absence" and will face questions from her colleagues in the party when she returns.

Dugdale, who endured her first Bushtucker Trial on Thursday night's episode, joined the reality show without her party's approval.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Friday, Leonard said he had not watched the show and did not believe the Lothian MSP should have taken part.

https://stv.tv/news/entertainment/1402954-scottish-twitter-finally-gets-to-see-dugdale-in-the-jungle/ | default

Leonard said: "I was disappointed she chose to do that. There are two things, one is that we expect our MSPs to be diligent in their parliamentary work.

"It's a great privilege and honour to be elected by the people to be their representative in parliament.

"Second there is an issue about the fact that she sought authorisation and didn't get it so she's there on unauthorised absence. So that's a bit of an issue for us inside the Labour party in Scotland."

Scottish Labour MSPs discussed whether or not Dugdale should be suspended over her decision earlier in the week. They decided not to issue a sanction.

https://stv.tv/news/entertainment/1402905-kezia-dugdale-takes-on-her-first-trial-on-i-m-a-celebrity/ | default

Leonard, who was elected as the party's leader at the weekend, said he would not sack Dugdale over the issue.

"When she comes back in three weeks' time from Australia the group manager will sit down and have a discussion with her," he said.

"Having heard her view, her side of the story, we'll then take a decision based upon that."

Leonard said he recognised the programme's popularity but said he was not sure if it was "a good way of getting across the message of socialism on television".

During her first Bushtucker Trial, she was forced to crawl through fish guts in a battle for "10 Downing Creek".

A spokesman for Kezia Dugdale said: "Kez hasn't been able to personally congratulate Richard on his victory, but sends him her very best wishes. 

"Kez hopes her Labour values will shine through while she is in the jungle, and it will demonstrate that politicians are human beings. Appearing on the show will also offer other opportunities for her to promote Labour policy when she leaves the camp. 

"But her main focus will be returning to work as Labour MSP for the Lothians, a job she fully intends to do for the long-term."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1402725-dugdale-escapes-suspension-over-i-m-a-celeb-appearance/ | default

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