Ann Widdecombe, a former British Conservative Party politician, documentary-maker, broadcaster and novelist. She is well-known for happily voicing her outspoken views on controversial issues, and is fiercely anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment. As a committed Christian, she is “not interested in being sexy” – so getting to grips with the raunchy Rumba and perfecting a sultry Samba should be something of a challenge…
Ann’s political career began as a District Councillor in Runnymede from 1976-8. She fought two seats unsuccessfully in the General Elections of 1979 and 1983 before winning the seat of Maidstone in June 1987 – a seat she kept until 2010, when she chose not to stand for re-election.
She joined John Major’s government in November 1990 as Under-Secretary of State for Social Security (specialising in Pensions). She became Minister of State for Employment in 1994, and then Minister of State at the Home Office in 1995 with responsibility for prisons and immigration. She famously described her boss Michael Howard as having “something of the night about him”.
When Labour came to power in 1997, Ann served as Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary before standing down from the front bench. She’s steadfast in her views, including being opposed to fox hunting, and in 2009 she stated “there is no climate change”. However, in the recent expenses scandal, Ann was described by the Daily Telegraph as one of the ‘saints’ amongst all of the MPs.
Ann’s varied media career has included two stints on ITV’s Celebrity Fit Club (as contestant and then as mentor), a Louis Theroux documentary, and two turns in the hosting chair of Have I Got News For You. She presented Ann Widdecombe Versus… for ITV1 and has made three religious documentaries for Channel 4 and the BBC. Ann wrote her first novel, The Clematis Tree, in 2000, which rose to No.8 in the Times’ Bestsellers’ List. She’s currently writing her fifth novel, An Act of Brotherhood.
Ann Widdecombe Full Biography and Profile
Ann Widdecombe was born on 4th October 1947 in Bath, Somerset. The daughter of James Murray Widdecombe CB/OBE and Mrs. Rita Widdecombe. Her father’s occupation was Head of Naval Supplies & Transport, Ministry of Defence.
She was educated at the Royal Naval School Singapore, La Sainte Union Convent Bath, Birmingham University (BA Hons Latin) and Oxford University (BA Hons Politics, Philosophy and Economics) LMH MA 1976.
She worked in marketing at Unilever from 1973 to 1975 and was Senior Administrator at London University from 1975 to 1987.
From 1987 to 2010 she was the Member of Parliament for Maidstone which became Maidstone and The Weald in 1997
Ann Widdecombe Political Biography
Secretary (1971) and Treasurer (1972) of The Oxford Union
Committee Member of Oxford University Conservative Association
Runnymede District Councillor 1976-1978
Candidate for Burnley 1979, she halved Labour majority
Candidate for Plymouth Devonport 1983 against Dr. David Owen.
Elected Member of Parliament for Maidstone 1987.
1990 Appointed PPS to Tristan Garel-Jones Minister at the Foreign Office
November 1990 appointed Under Secretary of State for Social Security in John Major’s first administration where she specialised in pensions
Under Secretary of State Department of Employment 1993.
Minister of State Department of Employment 1994.
Minister of State Home Office 1995 with responsibility for prisons and immigration.
1997 Member of Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons.
1998 Shadow Health Secretary.
1999 Shadow Home Secretary.
2001 Announced intention to retire from Shadow Front Bench at the same time as deciding not to stand for the Leadership of the Party.
October 2007 Announced her intention to retire at the next General Election
Ann Widdecombe Writing Career
2000 The Clematis Tree (rose to number 8 in the Times Best Seller List)
2002 An Act of Treachery published on 11th July
January 2005 Ann’s third novel ‘Father Figure’ is launched at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly
July 2005 Ann launches her second novel of the year, ‘An Act of Peace’ at the Foreign Press Association in London
Now engaged in writing her fifth novel “An Act of Brotherhood”
- Ann Widdecombe Biography and Profile (Ann Widdecombe)