I’m a Celebrity: Richard Leonard claims Kezia Dugdale ‘wasn’t given permission’ to do show


Richard Leonard and Kezia DugdaleGETTY/PH

Mr Leonard held the party refused permission for Ms Dugdale to take part to the ITV show

Richard Leonard asseverated she sought clearance from bosses to appear on the reality TV show but it was not granted – in spite of he is thought to be among those to have approved a trip overseas.

Mr Leonard, who won the chute to replace Mr Dugdale on Saturday, also said he was “not persuaded” that she should be suspended from the Overemphasize group amid splits over the issue.

Nicola Sturgeon keep ones wits about one into the row warning she would not want an SNP MSP to take part but added Scottish Endure was a “nest of vipers” worth escaping. 

It is understood Ms Dugdale approached Dwell on’s Holyrood business manager James Kelly for permission to head to the Australian jungle carry on month.  

I am not sure I exhaustively understand what Kezia Dugdale thinks she will benefit from this

Nicola Sturgeon

But this was refused midst the leadership contest and the winning candidate could replace Mr Kelly.

A beginning close to Ms Dugdale said she then asked both Mr Leonard and rival Anas Sarwar if she could go on an abroad project for three weeks while Holyrood was sitting.

Both agreed to this, the beginning said, although the Lothians list MSP did not name GETTY

Ms Sturgeon way into the row warning she would not want an SNP MSP to take part to the show

But Mr Leonard deputed clear that the party north of the Border would consider magnificent such a sanction.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland schedule: “I’ve said over the weekend that we need to consider it and I’ve also disclosed my own personal disappointment that that was a decision she has chosen to make.

“There are difficulties, not just the fact that she is there and the kind of programme it is and people’s rate of that, there is also a question about whether she got permission to do it.”

Hustled on whether Ms Dugdale had been given the party’s backing to take relinquish in the show, he said: “My understanding is she sought permission and wasn’t given liberty.” 

Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy CorbynGETTY

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has already said a exclusion would not be appropriate

Mr Leonard added: “I am not persuaded the immediate step that the Distressed by Party needs to take is to suspend Kezia from membership of the Strive Party but I do think we need to have a discussion about it.”

On Sunday Undertaking MSP Neil Findlay branded Ms Dugdale’s participation as “utterly ludicrous”.

Ms Dugdale’s companion, the SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth, has claimed the former leader was being bullied by some mates.

Mr Leonard said: “There was certainly a strong reaction on social agency when the news broke on Saturday morning and feelings are running costly about it. 

Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP convetionGETTY

Ms Sturgeon said that Scottish Labour was a ‘retreat of vipers’ worth escaping

“There’s no question about that.”

In the intervening time, asked about Ms Dugdale’s involvement Ms Sturgeon said: “It’s not something I order want to see an SNP MSP do.

“MSPs are elected to represent their constituents. 

“I think it’s high-level they do that.”

The First Minister continued: “I am not sure I entirely gather from what Kezia Dugdale thinks she will benefit from this. 

Richard LeonardGETTY

Mr Leonard is not over out suspending Ms Dugdale

“I am also not clear what her motivation might be.  

“It’s not a determination I would take. 

“I’m not sure there are many politicians who would pick out to do what she is doing.

“That said, she is in the Scottish Labour Party – they act to be a nest of vipers, so perhaps getting away from that to the jungle, when you see it in that frame of reference, it’s easier to understand.”

She added: “She’s decided to do it, so you know what, good fate to her.” 

Ms Dugdale blueprints to donate her MSP salary in full to charity while she is away, as well as a allowance of the five-figure appearance fee she will receive.

A source close to Miss Dugdale said: “Kez show a clean pair of heeled down initial requests for her to go away to Australia for five weeks, but allowed the offer to appear on the show when it was reduced to just three weeks, with a warranty she would be back for the Budget.

“She understands why some people are disappointed but at the same time people get over the initial shock she will find huge affirm from the public as the only Scot on the show and she’ll be back in just three weeks – and desire get straight back down to work for the people of the Lothians.”

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