Ann Widdecombe becomes first woman to be expelled from Carlton Club


Ann Widdecombe made history when she became the first woman in more than 170 years to be elected a member of the Carlton Club.

I can reveal that 12 years later she has notched up another record — by becoming the first woman to be expelled from it.

The redoubtable Widders is in no doubt that her remarkable political comeback led to her being booted out of the London bastion of the Conservative Party, which occupies a splendid townhouse in St James’s.

Ann, who survived incarceration on Celebrity Big Brother, stormed to victory as a Brexit Party candidate in the European elections last year, nearly a decade after standing down as a Tory MP.

Ann Widdecombe made history when she became the first woman in more than 170 years to be elected a member of the Carlton Club. I can reveal that 12 years later she has notched up another record ¿ by becoming the first woman to be expelled from it

Ann Widdecombe made history when she became the first woman in more than 170 years to be elected a member of the Carlton Club. I can reveal that 12 years later she has notched up another record — by becoming the first woman to be expelled from it

The redoubtable Widders is in no doubt that her remarkable political comeback led to her being booted out of the London bastion (pictured) of the Conservative Party, which occupies a splendid townhouse in St James¿s

The redoubtable Widders is in no doubt that her remarkable political comeback led to her being booted out of the London bastion (pictured) of the Conservative Party, which occupies a splendid townhouse in St James’s

Ann put in an unforgettable performance on Strictly Come Dancing after leaving Westminster

Ann put in an unforgettable performance on Strictly Come Dancing after leaving Westminster

Initially, she was gently advised to resign by the club hierarchy, but characteristically she declined to go quietly because of the support and encouragement she received from other members.

‘Many of them came up to me to thank me for taking a brave stand,’ says Ann, who, aside from becoming the club’s first-ever female member also became the first woman to be elected to the club’s committee in 2010.

‘Many more told me they were also voting for the Brexit Party at the European elections,’ Ann adds. ‘I have not encountered any hostility whatsoever at the club. Far more people said: “Thank you for what you are doing.” Some of them were Conservative councillors.’

Ann, who survived incarceration on Celebrity Big Brother, stormed to victory as a Brexit Party candidate in the European elections last year, nearly a decade after standing down as a Tory MP

Ann, who survived incarceration on Celebrity Big Brother, stormed to victory as a Brexit Party candidate in the European elections last year, nearly a decade after standing down as a Tory MP

Friends detect a Remainer plot because Lord Heseltine is among those allowed to remain a club member even though he¿s currently suspended from the Conservative Party after urging Tories to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections and the General Election. (Above, Ann at a Tory party conference in Blackpool in 1999)

Friends detect a Remainer plot because Lord Heseltine is among those allowed to remain a club member even though he’s currently suspended from the Conservative Party after urging Tories to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections and the General Election. (Above, Ann at a Tory party conference in Blackpool in 1999)

Suitably encouraged, Ann stood her ground — only for the club to cancel the direct debit by which she paid her annual subscription. 

Since then, Ann, who put in an unforgettable performance on Strictly Come Dancing after leaving Westminster, has heard nothing more and knows of no means by which to appeal to the membership.

Friends detect a Remainer plot because Lord Heseltine is among those allowed to remain a club member even though he’s currently suspended from the Conservative Party after urging Tories to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections and the General Election.

Major Simon Robinson, the club’s secretary, is disinclined to enlighten Widders on a possible club comeback. He tells me: ‘I’m afraid we can’t comment.’

Bea and Edo slope off for pal’s big day

Lucky Princess Beatrice is able to combine a Swiss ski break with attending one of the society weddings of the year.

Pictured heading for the slopes with her fiance, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, the Queen’s granddaughter will today be a guest of honour when her friend Dasha Zhukova marries shipping heir Stavros Niarchos in St Moritz. 

Art gallery owner Dasha was previously married to Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Pictured heading for the slopes with her fiance, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, the Queen¿s granddaughter Princess Beatrice will today be a guest of honour when her friend Dasha Zhukova marries shipping heir Stavros Niarchos in St Moritz

Pictured heading for the slopes with her fiance, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice will today be a guest of honour when her friend Dasha Zhukova marries shipping heir Stavros Niarchos in St Moritz

Bea and Edo are staying at a five-star hotel which is co-owned by the Niarchos family.

I wonder if the Princess will pick up a few tips? She and Edo are due to tie the knot in Britain later this year.

‘People would never believe the stories’

Divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, whose clients have included Prince Charles and Sir Paul McCartney, on why she won’t be writing her memoirs

Lily is reunited with her Romeo

When I disclosed last year that Mamma Mia 2 star Lily James had split up with Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in The Crown, speculation ran rife about their potential new lovers.

Now, the 30-year-old actress has added to the intrigue by cuddling up to Freddie Fox, also 30, who played Romeo to her Juliet in a West End production of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

When I disclosed last year that Mamma Mia 2 star Lily James had split up with Matt Smith, speculation ran rife about their potential new lovers. Now, the 30-year-old actress has added to the intrigue by cuddling up to Freddie Fox, also 30, who played Romeo to her Juliet in a West End production of Shakespeare¿s tragedy

When I disclosed last year that Mamma Mia 2 star Lily James had split up with Matt Smith, speculation ran rife about their potential new lovers. Now, the 30-year-old actress has added to the intrigue by cuddling up to Freddie Fox, also 30, who played Romeo to her Juliet in a West End production of Shakespeare’s tragedy

The pair attended the first night of a new West End staging of Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre together.

‘They were very relaxed in each other’s company,’ reports a fellow theatre-goer.

Friends of Freddie, who plays murderer Jeremy Bamber in ITV drama White House Farm, are keen to quash rumours of a blossoming romance.

They insist that Freddie is still courting actress Tanya Reynolds, 27, who stars in the new series of Netflix hit Sex Education. 

Lily with Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in The Crown, in New York in May 2017

Lily with Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in The Crown, in New York in May 2017



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: