Ann Widdecombe may be a new MEP for the region, but the South West has told her exactly where to go

Ann Widdecombe
Emily Apple

Ann Widdecombe may have won a seat in the EU elections in the South West, but the region has told her exactly what it thinks of her hateful views.

The new Brexit Party MEP was due to perform her one-woman show in Penzance, Cornwall and Ilfracombe, Devon. But theatres cancelled the bookings after she re-stated her support for so-called gay conversion therapy.

‘Cannot be supported or condoned’

An Audience with Ann Widdecombe was supposed to go ahead at the Penlee Park Open-Air Theatre on 8 June. Adverts claimed that, for £20, audiences could be regaled by the former Tory’s:

characteristic verve and integrity, Ann Widdecombe recalls her life and highlights the people and events that most influenced her along the way.

But the venue pulled the plug. Theatre manager David Hunter told Cornwall Live:

As a venue we have a wide-ranging programme of events that represent a diverse audience from across the county and we welcome a diverse breadth of performers but Ann Widdecombe’s recent remarks cannot, in any way, be supported or condoned.

“Vile people”

David Hutchinson, chief executive of the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, went further. He stated that the theatre would not “provide a stage for these vile people”.

Hutchinson continued:

Following her disgusting gay therapy comments over the weekend, my programming team and I immediately decided to cancel the scheduled event as we flatly refuse to offer a stage to someone who wishes to promote such vile opinion.

Now the cancellations are spreading beyond the South West. A theatre in Guildford, Surrey has also cancelled Widdecombe’s performance:

One social media user commented that Widdecombe will probably “blame it on the gay mafia”:

The tour continues…

Other dates are still available on Widdecombe’s tour, as one Twitter user stated:

As Hunter said, most of these venues host “diverse” programmes. There can be no place for someone who promotes homophobic hate speech in our towns. Let’s hope the other venues follow suit and tell Widdecombe she’s not wanted anywhere in the UK.

Featured image via YouTube – Sky News

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us