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'Grab post-Brexit future' - politician and former Strictly dance disaster tells Ipswich businesses

PUBLISHED: 12:05 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 07 November 2019

Floorless: Ann Widdecombe being swept across the Strictly dance floor in an innovative duster movement by Anton Du Beke  Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC

Floorless: Ann Widdecombe being swept across the Strictly dance floor in an innovative duster movement by Anton Du Beke Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC

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Outspoken Brexit politician and dancefloor disaster Ann Widdecombe has urged Suffolk business leaders to "grab the new future with both hands" as she addressed an event in Ipswich.

From left, Genesis PR director Penny Arbuthnot,  Jane Cattermole of Baytree VA, club treasurer Eddy Philips, guest speaker Ann Widdecombe MEP,  club chairman Luke Morris, club secretary Liz Harsant, and Paul Milson of Milsoms  Picture; WARREN PAGEFrom left, Genesis PR director Penny Arbuthnot, Jane Cattermole of Baytree VA, club treasurer Eddy Philips, guest speaker Ann Widdecombe MEP, club chairman Luke Morris, club secretary Liz Harsant, and Paul Milson of Milsoms Picture; WARREN PAGE

Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe - who quit the Conservative Party to join Nigel Farage's party - predicted the UK's future post-Brexit would be "terrific".

She was speaking to more than 100 Suffolk business leaders at a special event at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall organised by the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club on October 31 - the date prime minister Boris Johnson set for leaving the European Union (EU).

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The high-profile politician, whose senior posts with the Conservatives included shadow health secretary and shadow home secretary - retired in 2010.

In the same year, she waltzed back into UK TV viewers' living rooms with some memorably comic but inept ragdoll dancefloor performances on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing, heroically partnered by professional dancer Anton du Beke, who swept her through to week 10.

Ann Widdecombe  and Anton Du Beke dancing their way into Strictly history  Picture: BBCAnn Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke dancing their way into Strictly history Picture: BBC

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She returned to the political stage this year to become a Brexit Party MEP.

"I was enjoying my retirement, but duty didn't call, duty howled at me because I was frustrated, as with many others in this country, with the current situation in parliament," she told Suffolk business delegates.

She added: "Thank you for all you do for the UK economy. Once a clean-break Brexit happens, grab the new future with both hands after we've left. It's a terrific future, if we leave in a meaningful sense. When we can trade globally, we will be able to set our own rules and do everything as an independent country for the first time in decades."

Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke take a turn with care home residents Clifford Morgan (84), far left and Eliza Evans (92), far right at a Bupa dance event  Picture: PROFESSIONAL IMAGESAnn Widdecombe and Anton du Beke take a turn with care home residents Clifford Morgan (84), far left and Eliza Evans (92), far right at a Bupa dance event Picture: PROFESSIONAL IMAGES

Club chairman Luke Morris said: "With an election just being announced, it was fascinating to hear her views on Brexit, on the sanctity of democracy, and on the role of parliament. Ann was incredibly generous with her time with members and gave one of the liveliest speeches at such a crucial - and unprecedented - time for the country. The club has once again proven its knack of attracting a top-drawer speaker, at the very centre of current affairs and at the most crucial of times, to Suffolk."

The evening was hosted and sponsored by Milsoms Kesgrave Hall along with pub retailer and brewer Greene King and PR and marketing specialists Genesis.

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