Dugdale reprimanded over I’m a Celebrity

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Dugdale made no comment to journalists when she returned to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon

Scottish Labour has given its former leader a written warning over her controversial appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

But the party said Kezia Dugdale would face no further disciplinary action after her stint on the reality TV show.

Ms Dugdale flew into Glasgow Airport from Australia just before midday.

She then met party bosses, including her successor Richard Leonard, and was formally reprimanded over her “unauthorised absence”.

Ms Dugdale later arrived at Holyrood in time for a vote at 17:00, and made no comment to waiting journalists when she left the chamber a short time later.

A statement subsequently released by Scottish Labour said Ms Dugdale had been interviewed by its parliamentary group executive.

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Ms Dugdale insisted she had used her time in the jungle to promote Labour values

The statement added: “Following a discussion between Richard Leonard, Kezia Dugdale, and the group executive, it has been decided that the group will reprimand Ms Dugdale by way of written warning. She will not face further action.”

It quoted Ms Dugdale as saying that she had “deep regret” that her appearance on the reality show had “caused issues in the first weeks of Richard Leonard’s leadership”, and that she was now “getting back to work”.

Appearance fee

Ms Dugdale, who faced criticism over her three-week absence from the Scottish Parliament while appearing on the show, had earlier said it was “good to be back” in Scotland as she arrived at the airport,

The MSP was the second contestant to be voted off the ITV show, which was won by Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo.

She spent a week in Australia after being evicted from the jungle – and has pledged to donate a percentage of her appearance fee to charity, but has not said exactly how much.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption She took her seat in the Holyrood chamber in time for a vote at the end of the day’s business

Voting statistics released by the programme showed that Ms Dugdale won just 1.67% of the votes on the day she was evicted.

As she arrived in Glasgow, Ms Dugdale said the experience was one she was never going to forget.

The politician, who remained in Australia until after the programme’s final on Sunday, had said she wanted to use her appearance to reach out to young people about political values.

Asked if she felt she had in fact promoted Labour values she replied: “I did so in the jungle and will continue to do so.”

Image caption Ms Dugdale arrived back in Glasgow earlier on Wednesday after three weeks in Australia

Ms Dugdale, who was not suspended despite fierce criticism from some within Scottish Labour, has acknowledged she has “a bit of work to do to make amends”.

She previously told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme it was difficult to seek approval for her appearance on the show during the leadership contest between Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar.

The election, triggered by her resignation in August, was won by Mr Leonard – who immediately expressed his disappointment at Ms Dugdale’s decision, which was made public just hours before the leadership result was announced.

Mr Leonard said at the time that the party would consider suspending Ms Dugdale – but UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he did not believe suspension would be appropriate.

After being voted out on the jungle, Ms Dugdale said: “I do understand that it’s controversial, I do understand there are lots of people at home that are unhappy that I’ve taken part in this programme and I’ve got a bit of work to do to make amends.

“But please don’t doubt the fact that I’m devoted to the Labour Party, I love my job and I think I’m better-placed to do it for a long time now having had this experience.”

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