Ms Widdecombe told the Daily Express she feels the need to re-affirm ‘the will of the people’ – The i News
- Ann Widdecombe will stand as an MEP for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party
- Nigel Farage called the addition ‘great news’
Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has announced she will be standing as an MEP in the upcoming European elections for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Ms Widdecombe, 71, who retired in 2010, said she will still vote Conservative in the local elections but run as an MEP for the newly-formed Brexit Party in the next European elections.
The former shadow home secretary said the move “was not an easy decision” but that she knew how impossible it would be to live with her conscience if she “ducked out of the challenge”.
Reaffirming ‘the will of the people’
Announcing her return to politics in the Daily Express, Ms Widdecombe said the last thing she had wanted was “a full-on return to the political fray”, but she felt the need to re-affirm “the will of the people”.
Writing in the newspaper, she said: “I am standing for the Brexit Party in order that I may campaign vigorously and convince my fellow voters that this time it is imperative to fire a very loud warning shot across the bows of the parties they would normally support.
“It was not an easy decision and could be made only when I had reached the point of saying ‘I can do no other’.”
She said her decision is not a protest vote, but “a re-affirmation of the supremacy of the will of the people”, and said that “if enough people deliver that message then politicians of all parties will be obliged to listen or risk future electoral disaster”.
‘Great’ news to Farage
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage called the addition “great news”.He tweeted: “I welcome Ann Widdecombe as our lead candidate in the South West, the Brexit Party is a stronger alliance as a result. This is great news.”
I welcome Ann Widdecombe as our lead candidate in the South West, the Brexit Party is a stronger alliance as a result. This is great news.10.3K06:57 – 24 Apr 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy3,607 people are talking about this
Describing the party, the former UKIP leader said: “This party is not here just to fight the European elections… this party is not just to express our anger – 23 May is the first step of the Brexit Party.”
Ann Widdecombe served as Conservative MP for Maidstone from 1987 to 1997 and for Maidstone and The Weald from 1997 to 2010.
She retired from politics in 2010, and turned her hand to reality TV show appearances, including as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.
She will stand as an MEP candidate for the Brexit Party in the South West.
Theresa May leadership challenge
Senior Conservatives are expected to hold further discussions on whether to change the party rules to enable an early leadership challenge to Theresa May.
Mrs May announced she would step down as Prime Minister when the UK had struck a deal to leave the EU.
Officers of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee met in Westminster on Tuesday amid growing pressure for the Prime Minister to name the date of her departure.
They fear the Tories will suffer heavy losses to the Brexit Party if – as now seems likely – the UK is forced to go ahead with voting in the European elections on 23 May.
Afterwards, there was no formal statement from the meeting which was said have been inconclusive.
The meeting venue was switched at the last minute to enable members to avoid waiting for reporters.
Additional reporting by Press Association