Ann Widdecombe

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Ann Widdecombe (b 1947) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom. First elected to Parliament in Margaret Thatcher's 1987 victory, she stood down at the 2010 election. Between 1990 and 1997 she served in the government of Prime Minister John Major. After the election loss of 1997, she served as shadow Health Minister and shadow Home Secretary. She moved to the backbenches in 2001.

Remarkably for a British politician, Widdecombe is a vocal Christian whose faith has often being a feature of her political life. She insisted that should the Conservative Party be elected to government again she would be unable to serve as Health Secretary since the National Health Service performs abortions. She has been a strong campaigner for family values and is a publicly-acknowledged practitioner of abstinence. When the Church of England, of which she was a member, decided to allow women to become priests, she left and joined the Catholic Church. She once boycotted British Airways in protest at the airline refusing to allow a member of staff to display a crucifix, and only returned to using the carrier when the decision was reversed.

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