|The Right Honourable
|Shadow Home Secretary|
13 January 1999 – 18 September 2001
|Preceded by||Sir Norman Fowler|
|Succeeded by||Oliver Letwin|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Health|
24 May 1998 – 13 January 1999
|Preceded by||John Maples|
|Succeeded by||Liam Fox|
|Minister of State for Prisons|
28 February 1995 – 2 May 1997
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Tony Baldry|
|Succeeded by||Office Abolished|
|Member of Parliament
for Maidstone and The Weald
11 June 1987 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||John Wells|
|Succeeded by||Helen Grant|
|Born||4 October 1947
Bath, Somerset, England
|Alma mater||University of Birmingham
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
Ann Noreen Widdecombe (born 4 October 1947 in Bath, Somerset, England) is a former British politician. She was the Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Maidstone and The Weald from 1987 to 2010.
Early life [change]
Widdecombe is the daughter of a Ministry of Defence civil servant James Murray Widdecombe and Rita N Plummer. She attended the Royal Navy School in Singapore, and a convent school in Bath. She then read Latin at Birmingham University and later attended Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). She worked for Unilever (1973–75). She was then an administrator at the University of London (1975–87) before entering Parliament.
She was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1987 General Election. From 1995 to 1997, she was the Minister of State for Prisons. Ann Widdecombe served in William Hague's shadow cabinet from 1997 to 2001. Widdecombe retired from politics at the 2010 general election.
Throughout her political career, Widdecombe was socially conservative and converted from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism in 1992 after the Church of England voted to allow female priests.
Widdecombe was a contestant in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing. In 2002 she took part in a Louis Theroux television documentary. It showed her life, both in and out of politics. She was cast as herself in an episode of the science-fiction drama Doctor Who.
On 23 April 2012 Widdecombe presented an hour-long documentary for BBC Radio 5 Live. It was Drunk Again: Ann Widdecombe Investigates, looking at how the British attitude to getting drunk has changed over the last few years.
- 2000: The Clematis Tree. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-64572-2
- 2002: An Act of Treachery. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-64573-0
- 2005: Father Figure. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-82962-9
- 2005: An Act of Peace. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-82958-0
- 1999: Inspired and Outspoken: the collected speeches of Ann Widdecombe; edited by John Simmons, with a biographical preface by Nick Kochan. London: Politico's Publishing ISBN 1-902301-22-6
- 2000: Kochan, Nicholas Ann Widdecombe: right from the beginning. London: Politico's Publishing ISBN 1-902301-55-2
- Ann Widdecombe set to stand down; BBC News, 7 October 2007
- "About Ann". annwiddecombe.com. http://www.annwiddecombe.com/text.aspx?id=52. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
- "Tony Blair joins catholic church". London: bbconline. 22 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7157409.stm. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- "Ann Widdecombe compared to 'Fox hunting – Ban'", Public Whip. Retrieved on 21 March 2009.
- "Strictly Come Dancing at". BBC. 2 October 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00v7qxs/Strictly_Come_Dancing_Series_8_Week_1_Show_2/. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- Grice, Elizabeth (21 October 2010). "Interview with Ann Widdecombe at www.telegraph.co.uk". The Daily Telegraph (UK). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/strictly-come-dancing/8076273/Interview-with-Ann-Widdecombe.html. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "Ann Widdecombe: The truth about me and Louis Theroux". The Independent (London). 5 March 2002. Archived from the original on 17 May 2010. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/ann-widdecombe-the-truth-about-me-and-louis-theroux-659429.html. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- Peter Ware. "Doctor Who – Fact File – "The Sound of Drums"". Doctor Who: the official site. BBC. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/episodes/2007/facts/fact_312.shtml. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- "Drunk Again: Anne Widdecombe Investigates". BBC. 23 April 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01ghshj. Retrieved 23 April 2012.