Ann Widdecombe is a former British Conservative Party politician, novelist and media personality who is available as a keynote speaker through Champions.
Ann was the Member of Parliament for Maidstone from 1987 to 1997 and for Maidstone and The Weald from 1997 to 2010, and held a number of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet positions in her time at the House of Commons.
From 1976 to 1978, Ann was District Councillor for Runnymede. She contested Burnley at the 1979 General Election and fought Dr David Owen at Devonport in 1983 before being selected to succeed Sir John Wells as the Member for Maidstone. She was elected Member of Parliament for Maidstone at the 1987 General Election.
Between 1990 and 1994 Ann was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Social Security and then Employment. Progress beckoned when she was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Employment from July 1994 until July 1995 and in the same month she was appointed Minister of State at the Home Office, a position she held until 1997.
She was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health in June 1998 and on 9th June 1999 she was appointed Shadow Home Secretary, before retiring from frontbench politics in 2001 and altogether in 2010.
Ann has never been afraid of controversy. As a conservative Christian she has opposed abortion, LGBT equality and climate change legislation, but also caused a stir in her own party by opposing fox-hunting.
From 2002 onwards, Ann also became a regular appearance on many documentaries and television shows, such as Have I Got News for You, Ann Widdecombe Versus and most famously as a competitor on Strictly Come Dancing.
During her political keynote speeches, Ann discusses the political landscape and social responsibility along with providing invaluable insight into top-flight politics with some of the most influential figures of modern times. Ann also welcomes audience participation, answering questions with true knowledge and interest.
The Political Landscape
TV, Journalism & Broadcasting
‘Ann received a 100% excellent review. One delegate commented that Ann was the best speaker she had ever heard.’ – The Centre for Sheltered/Supported Housing Studies