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Ann Widdecombe on Mick Philpott

3 April 2013 Last updated at 17:29 BST

Barristers representing the parents of six children killed in a fire in Derby have been making their final submissions to the judge at Nottingham Crown Court.

Mick and Mairead Philpott and their friend Paul Mosley are due to be sentenced on Thursday after being found guilty of the manslaughter of the children.

The former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe spent a week with the couple in 2007 for a TV documentary, and remembers him as being "extremely manipulative" and "not at all pleasant".

She said Mick Philpott did abuse the benefits system - but welfare dependency did not cause him to kill.