A force in the House of Commons for a number of years, Ann Widdecombe was the Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Maidstone and the Weald until her retirement in 2010. Ann rejoined frontline politics in 2019 as MEP for the South West region. Her vibrant personality and willingness to give her opinion make her an entertaining after dinner speaker on the corporate circuit.
Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe is an accomplished and entertaining keynote speaker on the corporate circuit. Her vibrant personality, extensive knowledge of politics, and ability to engage audiences with hilarious anecdotes make her an ideal choice for corporate events.
Until 2010, she served as a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Maidstone and the Weald and, since then, has appeared on popular BBC programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
After studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford, Ann worked in marketing at Unilever (1973 to 1975) and as a Senior Administrator at the University of London (1975 to 1987). She began working in Parliament as a Runnymede District Councillor in 1976 and, a few years later, attempted to win a seat in Burnley and Plymouth Devonport. Ann was eventually elected as a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Maidstone and the Weald in 1987.
Throughout her career in politics, Ann was considered to be very outspoken and held strong opinions on abortion and climate change. Her career in Parliament was very successful, with roles including Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary. In 2007, Ann announced her retirement at the next General Election in 2010. However Ann since rejoined frontline politics in 2019 as MEP for the South West region.
In addition to her political career, Ann has had a successful media career; she has appeared in various popular television programmes over the years, giving the public an idea of her personality outside of parliament. Ann appeared in ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ and returned as a panellist a few years later, offering advice to fellow celebrities. She is well-known for her stint in BBC One’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, during which she danced with Anton Du Beke, and was one of the more memorable celebrities on the show. She has also been a guest host of ‘Have I Got News for You’ and is the quizmaster in the Sky Atlantic show ‘Cleverdicks’.
A talented writer, she has written columns for The Guardian as an agony aunt, as well as several books include ‘The Clematis Tree’ (2000), ‘An Act of Treachery’ (2002), ‘Father Figure’ (2005), An Act of Peace' (2005), and ‘The Dancing Detective’ (2014).