Ann Widdecombe - Ann Widdecombe was born in Bath, Somerset in 1947. Her family moved around, following her father's work in the Admiralty, first to Portsmouth, then to Singapore, before returning to England.
Wide Ranging Education
She was educated at the Royal Naval School Singapore and La Sainte Union Convent, Bath and has two degrees; one in Latin from Birmingham University and one in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. At Oxford she was secretary, then treasurer of the Oxford Union, and on the committee of the Oxford University Conservative Association.
After working in marketing at Unilever from 1973 to 1975 she was a senior administrator at London University from 1975 to 1987, during which time she was a district councillor and stood as a candidate in two general elections. In 1987 she was elected Member of Parliament for Maidstone (which became Maidstone and The Weald in 1997).
In the House
As an MP, Ann rose through the ranks to become a Minister of State at the Home Office and then Shadow Health Secretary in 1998 and Shadow Home Secretary in 1999. In July 2001 she announced her decision to retire from the Shadow Cabinet, because she wanted to be able to speak on issues which she felt strongly about without the constraints of being a Front Bencher. She also wanted to spend more time with her elderly mother and to devote more time to her writing career.
Writer and broadcaster
As well as being a high-profile MP, she is well-known for her journalism and broadcasting, including her own prime time programme on BBC2, Ann Widdecombe to the Rescue, in which she acted as an agony aunt travelling around the country offering no-nonsense advice to families on a variety of problems. She also presented an episode focusing on the Reformation and its impact on the common people of the time as part of Channel 4’s documentary series Christianity: A History broadcast in February 2009. In 2010, as part of Channel 4’s documentary series on The Bible, Ann presented a programme entitled ‘Moses and the Law’.
Other TV/radio credits include Ready Steady Cook, Countdown, Celebrity Fit Club, Ann Widdecombe Versus, LBC 97.3, Louis Theroux Meets…., Grumpy Old Women, Question Time, Any Questions and Have I Got News for You.
Ann has also written four novels: The Clematis Tree (2000), An Act of Treachery (2002), Father Figure (2005), and An Act of Peace (2005), and is currently working on her fifth, An Act of Brotherhood.
Ann has a column in the Daily Express every Wednesday.
In 1993, Ann became a Catholic, and met the Pope in 1996.
10 out of 10!
A great speaker, perfect pitch for our event. We were very pleased with Ann.
Comments from Dave, following Ann's speech at the BPA Annual Dinner