Ann 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 spent time in Singapore where she was educated at the Royal Naval School and once her family returned to the UK she boarded at La Sainte Union Convent, Bath. At Birmingham University she studied Latin and then went on to read PPE at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
She worked in marketing at Unilever from 1973 to 1975 and was Senior Administrator at London University from 1975 to 1987.
From 1987 to 2010 Ann was Member of Parliament for Maidstone which became Maidstone and The Weald in 1997. She was Minister of State at the Department of Employment in 1994 before going on to become Minister of State at the Home Office in 1995 where she was responsible for prisons and immigration.
During William Hague’s leadership of the Conservative Party she was Shadow Health Secretary in 1998 and Shadow Home Secretary in 1999.
Her first novel, THE CLEMATIS TREE, a Sunday Times bestseller, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2000. AN ACT OF TREACHERY, FATHER FIGURE and AN ACT OF PEACE followed over the next five years. Her bestselling autobiography, STRICTLY ANN, was published by Phoenix paperbacks in June 2014. THE DANCING DETECTIVE, her first detective novel, was published by Amazon in 2014.
Ann has made a number of television documentaries as well as appearing in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing. She is a Privy Counsellor, writes a regular column for the Daily Express and currently lives on Dartmoor, Devon.
photo credit Poppy Berry