Ann Widdecombe 'will not quit Strictly Come Dancing'

Media caption, Ann Widdecombe: "The public decides who goes through and who doesn't"

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe says she will not voluntarily bow out of TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

In the latest round, Miss Widdecombe, 63, from Devon, was spared elimination thanks to public support after she had received the lowest marks of the night.

The former minister has consistently been bailed out by the public vote despite harsh verdicts from the panel.

But Miss Widdecombe said she would not follow the example of John Sergeant, who voluntarily left the show in 2008.

Political correspondent Mr Sergeant said at the time that there was a "real risk" of winning the show which he said would be a "joke too far".

'Incredibly rude'

But Miss Widdecombe said leaving "would be a slap in the face for the public".

She told BBC Radio Devon: "The public are deciding who goes through and who does not go through.

"If the public say we want to see you again next week and you say 'I've got better things to do', that seems incredibly rude."

In one of her latest routines, the former Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald was dragged around the floor while sitting on her bottom by partner Anton Du Beke.

Miss Widdecombe, who trains with Du Beke in Newton Abbot, defended her style, saying: "If this were merely a dancing competition it wouldn't be Saturday night entertainment.

"It would be BBC Sport and it would be run on completely different lines. This is entertainment.

"If people don't like what the public are deciding, bad luck. Try being a politician."

More on this story

Around the BBC