Ann Widdecombe has invitation to speak at David Amess’s constituency association dinner WITHDRAWN after she joined new pro-Brexit party Reform UK – despite her decades-long friendship with the late MP
After the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess, one of the first people his family turned to for support was the redoubtable Ann Widdecombe.
Amess, killed in his constituency surgery by terrorist Ali Harbi Ali in 2021, had been best friends with Widdecombe since she became a Conservative MP in 1987. Part of their bond derived from the fact they were both devout Roman Catholics, and Widdecombe is godmother to one of Amess’s four daughters.
At Amess’s Westminster Cathedral memorial service, Widdecombe delivered an extremely moving eulogy. Still in demand as a speaker on the Tory constituency circuit, despite defecting to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and becoming an MEP in 2019, Widdecombe was due to speak at Amess’s Southend West constituency association dinner last Friday. It was a sell-out.
But after she revealed last week she was joining the Brexit Party’s successor organisation Reform UK to campaign for a better Brexit, Widdecombe was told the invitation was withdrawn. Many association members were appalled by the decision to cancel as they know how close Widdecombe is to Amess’s widow, Julia.
David Amess (pictured) was killed in his constituency surgery by terrorist Ali Harbi Ali in 2021
After the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess, one of the first people his family turned to for support was the redoubtable Ann Widdecombe (pictured)
Last night Widdecombe declined to comment, but one senior Tory tells me: ‘David was their MP for 25 years and would have wanted the Widdecombe visit to go ahead. I hear she’s got five or six more Tory association events coming up and they haven’t cancelled her. David’s association has over-reacted.’
Discussing Boris Johnson’s appearance before the Commons privileges committee, one Tory MP was overheard saying: ‘Did you notice when Boris told the committee “Hand on heart, I did not lie to the House”, he kept both hands pressed firmly down on the table?’
One Tory MP was overheard saying: ‘Did you notice when Boris told the committee “Hand on heart, I did not lie to the House”, he kept both hands pressed firmly down on the table?’
President Macron’s increasingly regal mien prompted Charles Moore, the official biographer of Margaret Thatcher, to reveal what happened when he passed on a complaint from the Iron Lady to former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
Lady Thatcher had been surprised that at lunch at the Elysee Palace, the President was served before her. ‘You must understand,’ d’Estaing told Moore, who described the encounter in The Spectator, ‘French presidents are in the line of sovereigns.’
Before Nicola Sturgeon formally announced her resignation as Scotland’s First Minister, she alerted the King to her intentions.
She then informed those titans of Scottish politics, the two Green Party members of the Scottish Parliament. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was also alerted.
But she pointedly neglected to give any advance warning of her decision to Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the Westminster government which the Scottish people kept faith with in the 2014 independence referendum.
Hapless Scottish health minister Humza Yousaf could be announced as Scotland’s First Minister today, as the ballot for the new leader closes at midday. He’s got a lot to learn. Meeting Ukrainian women in Edinburgh, Yousaf asked loudly: ‘Where are all the men?’ There was an awkward pause, before they explained their men were back home fighting Vladimir Putin’s Russian army.
Silence from the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on the 20th anniversary of the disastrous Iraq war, launched by his political hero Tony Blair.
This is the same Starmer who in 2003, as a young Left-wing lawyer, wrote an article calling the conflict ‘unlawful’.
Does he still think that? Or is he perhaps unwilling to say so because — unlike his predecessors as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband, who denounced the war — he doesn’t want to criticise Blair?
At a music awards ceremony, a guest overheard Environment Secretary Therese Coffey saying she was 71. Keen to ingratiate themselves, they jumped in saying: ‘Never. 71? You don’t look it.’ Coffey (left) was not flattered by the compliment. She bit back: ‘I’m not 71 — That’s the year I was born.’
At a music awards ceremony, a guest overheard Environment Secretary Therese Coffey (pictured) saying she was 71
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