Ann Widdecombe celebrates her recent election as an MEP / Metro

If you were to scour the highways and byways of the United Kingdom, it would be hard to find anyone more bruised by controversy than 71-year-old Ann Widdecombe. Her latest ding-dong: after decades as a Conservative MP in the British Parliament, she stood for the European Parliament for the Brexit Party. She was forthwith expelled from the Conservatives but she won her seat in the May 23 election. 

Ms Widdecombe studied at the University of Birmingham and Oxford and worked in as an administrator before entering Parliament. There she became known — or notorious — for opposing abortion, various LGBT causes, the abolition of blasphemy laws, and fox hunting. She favoured Brexit, shackling female prisoners, the death penalty, and gay conversion therapy. Religiously, she has moved from agnosticism to Anglicanism to Catholicism. In short, she is a living, breathing, walking, talking, motor-mouthed bulls-eye for vilification and obloquy. 

She is also the author of five novels and a TV and stage personality. Last year she was runner-up in Celebrity Big Brother – which, as far as ego-bruising goes, must be like a bungee jumper hearing her cord snap. 

Ann Widdecombe is to snowflakes what hell is to snowballs. In this brief speech to the Oxford Union, she defends the right of other people to offend her. 

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.    

Michael Cook

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet