Fearless politician turned dance star to talk about her life

GUEST Ann Widdecombe is appearing on Hayling Island
GUEST Ann Widdecombe is appearing on Hayling Island
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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OUTSPOKEN MP turned national treasure Ann Widdecombe is heading to Hayling Island.

The former Tory minister, one of the best-loved stars on Strictly Come Dancing when she made inept but endearing appearances on the show three years ago, is coming to Hayling Island to give a talk on her life.

Her autobiography Strictly Ann, reveals what it was like to hold three ministerial posts and offers her views on the coalition, MPs’ expenses and the state of the nation.

The talk has been organised by Marie Telford, of Hayling Island Bookshop, who said she can’t wait to meet her again.

‘We have worked with Ann before but this is the first public event we have held with her,’ said Marie.

‘As you would expect from someone who has been in the front line of British politics, she is a very good speaker indeed and she has so many different aspects to her life.

‘We are looking really looking forward to hearing her talk and answering questions about her autobiography.’

Miss Widdecombe was born in 1947 in Bath, Somerset.

Her father worked for the Admiralty which meant her family was on the move for much of her childhood.

She has a strong affinity to naval cities as she spent time in Singapore where she was educated at the Royal Naval School.

In 1987 she won the Maidstone and The Weald seat and went on to become a minister in the Department of Employment in 1994 and then a Home Office minister in 1995 when she 
was responsible for prisons and immigration.

Famously Ms Widdecombe clashed with former Tory leader Michael Howard, and was reported to have said there was ‘something of the night’ about him, sinking his chances in the 1997 leadership race.

Frank and fearless, Miss Widdecombe is famous for not suffering fools gladly but won an army of admirers when she starred in 2010’s Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1.

She is also a regular on the satirical quiz show Have I Got News for You.

Tickets for the talk on June 10, at Hayling Island Community Centre, cost £20 and include a signed copy of the book.

They are available from the bookshop, in Mengham, on (023) 9246 6620.