Widdecombe's greatest hits: hurry while stocks last

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Indy Politics

She is the darling of the Tory right and a cult figure among gay clubbers. She has even been known to come up with the odd cutting remark. But will Ann Widdecombe really be remembered as one of our greatest speakers?

She is the darling of the Tory right and a cult figure among gay clubbers. She has even been known to come up with the odd cutting remark. But will Ann Widdecombe really be remembered as one of our greatest speakers?

Apparently, she thinks so. On Monday, a collection of her best speeches is officially launched. Followers of the Tory home affairs spokeswoman, who only this week was voted one of the top ten women with character by a magazine, will be able to re-read some of her most pressing thoughts.

The book by the MP dubbed "Doris Karloff" by the tabloids will include a range of more outlandish remarks she has made including classics such as her devastating attack on Michael Howard, when she said he had "something about the night about him".

It also includes highlights such as an article she wrote about the horror of women priests, an issue so close to her heart that she converted to Catholicism in protest.

Miss Widdecombe, and don't you dare to call her Ms, has already been the star of the last two party conferences when she gave explosive, passionate speeches without notes from the platform, which left many gasping for breath with excitement.

Widdecome-ites are convinced she is the party's best asset and her book is yet another chance to make her a household name.

Described by her critics as looking like the offspring of an Albanian goalkeeper and the "creature from the Black Lagoon", Miss Widdecombe makes few concessions to the makeover merchants. However, she has softened her image of late. The trademark pudding-basin haircut has been morphed into a racing cyclist's helmet, her nails are immaculately manicured and she even sports the occasional brooch.

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