One of the newly elected Members of the European Parliament is a popular public speaker, who visited Crewkerne two years ago. Ann Widdecombe who retired from politics at the 2010 General Election, is a former Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary, who was guest speaker for Crewkerne & District U3A at their October meeting in 2017, held at Haselbury Mill due to the large number of members attending. Comments were made after the meeting that Ms Widdecombe was “a popular and sought after public speaker who didn’t refer to notes during her talk.” Since retiring from politics, Ann Widdecombe has written several novels and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, partnered by professional dancer Anton Du Beke.
On Sunday evening, Ann Widdecombe gave a victory speech for the recently formed Brexit Party at the Civic Centre in Poole, when it was announced that she and Brexit Party colleagues, James Glancy and Christina Jordan, had been duly elected to represent the South West as Members of the European Parliament. In her speech, she called for the Brexit Party to have a role in negotiations about exiting the EU, saying: “Tonight reaffirms the vote of 2016. We are now trying to deliver the will of the people. That is a huge contribution to democracy indeed.”
The two main parties in Parliament, Conservative and Labour, suffered humiliating defeats with the Liberal Democrats seeing a huge resurge in support across the country and gaining two MEPs in the South West, Caroline Voaden and Martin Horwood. While the Green Party increased their share of the vote considerably as the climate crisis and environmental problems, rated as major concerns, with many younger voters having their say in politics for the first time. Re-elected Green Party MEP, Molly Scott Cato said: “It’s part of a Green Wave travelling across our continent.” EU Election Results for South Somerset, with votes recorded: Brexit Party 21,712, Liberal Democrats 13,006, Green Party 6,636, Conservative and Unionist Party 4,633, UKIP 1,740, Labour Party 1,608, Change UK – The Independent Group 1,209, English Democrats 318 and Independents Neville Seed 78, Maxey Larch 48 and Rahman Mothiur 23.