23/11/2017 16:20 GMT | Updated 23/11/2017 16:40 GMT

Kezia Dugdale Claims 'I'm A Celebrity' Appearance Will Help Public See Politicians As 'Humans'

'Beginning to like our politicians again, is surely only a force for good?'

Kezia Dugdale has said her appearance in ‘I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’ will allow the public to see politicians as “humans”. 

The former Scottish Labour leader claimed she sees her participation on the ITV reality series as a “force for good in this increasingly difficult and depressing world”. 

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Kezia Dugdale is a late entrant to 'I'm A Celebrity'

In an open article she wrote before flying to Australia, Kezia, who has taken time out from her role as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothian Region to participate, wrote: “It’s an amazing opportunity to talk to a whole new audience of people who don’t live and breathe politics like I do, to talk about Labour values and the difference they could make in practice.

“I can hear the cynics out there say ‘nice try’ or ‘who is she kidding?’ People who, when they think about politicians on light entertainment TV programmes, can only picture George Galloway in a catsuit supping milk or Ann Widdecombe being thrown across a Blackpool ballroom.”

She continued: “But just as I will try to get my views across and the outlook of hundreds of thousands of folks like me, it’s also a chance for people to see politicians in a different light. To see them as humans. With the same phobias and cravings.

“To see them laugh and cry. To see how they handle a bit of pressure and adversity.

“Beginning to like our politicians again, or at the very least laugh with them, is surely only a force for good in this increasingly difficult and depressing world?”

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Kezia has taken leave from the Scottish Labour Party

Addressing the controversy that erupted in political spheres over her appearance, Kezia admitted she knew it was always going to be divisive. 

“When I was approached, I initially declined because it would involve five weeks away from parliament. But when the producers said I could be away for just three weeks and go into the jungle late, I accepted,” she said. 

“The minute I get back from this experience I am going to go straight from the airport into the parliament and vote. There are no major pieces of legislation that I am going to miss in the three weeks that I am here. I will be back in time to vote in the budget and I will face my constituents then.”

She added she hopes “everyone in Labour” will cheer her on, and also offered her congratulations to the new leader of Scottish Labour, Richard Leonard. 

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Viewers will see her enter the jungle tonight

It was previously confirmed Kezia will not be suspended from the party over her jungle stint, despite calls from certain MPs. 

However, Scottish Labour Business Manager James Kelly also said she “will be interviewed on her return to Parliament and have the opportunity to present her account of events”. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn previously chimed in on the rumours Kezia was set to enter the jungle, after she stepped down as the party’s Scottish leader in August. 

“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,” he said. 

‘I’m A Celebrity’ viewers will see Kezia enter the jungle on Thursday (23 November) night at 9pm on ITV. 

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