Ann Widdecombe talks politics, Strictly and panto at charity talk in Chipping Sodbury

Gazette Series: Ann Widdecombe with members of the Chipping Sodbury Inner Wheel club Ann Widdecombe with members of the Chipping Sodbury Inner Wheel club

FORMER MP Ann Widdecombe has helped raise more than £2,000 for a homeless charity after giving a talk in Chipping Sodbury.

The outspoken Conservative chatted for an hour to around 170 people about her career in Westminster, her love of ballroom after taking part in BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing and a recent spell in pantomime with Strictly partner Anton du Beke.

Having waived her fee and travel expenses, Ann also copies of her autobiography and novels with profits going to The Bristol Soup Run Trust, which her brother Malcolm had helped with for many years, and the homeless in Bristol.

Martyn Poole, who runs the trust, gave a speech on the work the charity does and the people it helps.

In all, the evening, organised by the Inner Wheel of Chipping Sodbury, raised £2,2000.

Club president Carol Fowler said: “It was a fabulous evening, Ann was very warm and was happy to answer any questions asked of her.

“We hold a charity evening once a year, normally in October, but because Ann is such a busy lady and cleared her diary for us we moved the date forward.

“We had people from the Inner Wheel circle of Chipping Sodbury, Thornbury and Dursley and we all had a lovely time. We are very grateful to Ann for giving up her time and waiving her fee completely.”

Ann, a collector of teddy bears, was presented with an Inner Wheel bear made by the club president as well as a basket of flowers.

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