FORMER Tory grandee Ann Widdecombe has turned her back on the party that launched her political career.

The ex-minister is standing for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party as their south west candidate in the forthcoming European Parliament elections.

Announcing her candidacy in the Daily Express, Dartmoor-resident Miss Widdecombe said: “I have been increasingly disillusioned with the direction of politics for some time.

“Hugely important decisions such as what to do with an NHS which was set up on false predictions more than 70 years ago are dodged through fear of unpopularity.

“Political correctness and the compensation culture paralyse free speech and the rulebook reigns supreme.

“Box ticking has replaced common sense and quite often compassion too but politicians simply go on giving us more of the same, saying always what they believe people want to hear.”

Miss Widdecombe, 71, who found fame with a new audience after appearing on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, compared her agony over leaving the Conservative Party to her switch from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in the early 1990s.