Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Mandy Rhodes: Jungle camper Kezia Dugdale is a disgrace to her party, parliament and politics

Dugdale debases us all by going into the jungle, says Mandy (ITV / REX / Shutterstock)
Dugdale debases us all by going into the jungle, says Mandy (ITV / REX / Shutterstock)

FORMER Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, says she hopes that by going into the jungle as a contestant in “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here” will allow the public to see that politicians are human.

Have I got this right?

By abandoning your constituents, being absent from parliament, going to live in the Australian jungle, taking part in so-called Bushtucker trials that ostensibly involve eating the genitalia of marsupials, by participating in acts of humiliation of your fellow contestants and all the while being filmed for national television with the “best bits” of bikini-clad campers edited for the purpose of newspaper features headlined “sexiest shower scenes” and having re-branded yourself as a “celebrity” – this makes you more human?


Dugdale has given up on the serious business of politics for a gameshow. She says she has gone into the jungle to share her Labour values with the nation. But she is endorsing a programme which rests on the principles of humiliation, divisiveness, bullying and titillation. This from a woman who champions equality, campaigns vigorously against sexism and has more recently spoken out about the abuse of power.

Kezia Dugdale codenamed ‘Spice’ during secret I’m A Celeb negotiations

If nothing else, Dugdale has prided herself on being a role model for young women thinking about a career in politics. But what message does she now offer? That you ask the electorate to put their faith in you and you then reward them by ignoring normal employment practices and nip off to Oz to appear in a programme with third rate celebrities and take home a fat fee for your troubles?

She promised a new politics, she campaigned against injustice, called for an end to politicians having two jobs and she consistently harangued the First Minister to “get on with the day job”. Her hypocrisy is breath-taking. But criticise her and you are accused of bullying. Say that she is wrong and you risk being labelled a misogynist and a harbinger of doom who doesn’t know how to party.

But, perhaps, politics has just become another form of light entertainment and Dugdale is only capitalising on it while she can.

But if that is true, then she debases us all.

I don’t doubt that Dugdale feels she was treated badly within her own party but none of it is a justification for her to go absent without leave. She was deputy leader when the party rules were changed to put her at the top of the regional list giving her a cast iron guarantee of a five-year seat in the parliament. If any of us walked out on the job we’d face a P45 yet she says that not only will she not stand down as an MSP when she gets back, she intends to stand again next time around. How utterly contemptible that she believes that decision would be hers.

Dugdale wants to show that politicians are humans but all she’s confirmed is a view that they’re just in it for themselves.

Kezia knows it is a big risk… and a massive opportunity, says friend and adviser Alan Roden