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Ugly jibes are no joke, says Widdecombe.

TOUGH-TALKING Tory Ann Widdecombe revealed her softer side yesterday.

The Shadow Home Secretary - famously dubbed Doris Karloff after the horror film star Boris Karloff - admitted she was hurt by comments about her appearance.

Recently, divers off the Berwickshire coast nick-named a fish they discovered after Widdecombe because of its colour and funny teeth.

Yesterday, Widdecombe, 52, said she sometimes found the jibes hard to take.

She said she was "deeply hurt" when it was suggested she only supported former prisons boss Derek Lewis when he was under fire because she "fancied him".

But she did laugh off some of the remarks that have been made about her and even said she felt sorry for the fish.

Widdecombe, who was in Scotland to give a lecture at Stirling University, said: "I'm so used to it now, whenever I read something about my appearance it usually doesn't bother me.

"You have to develop a thick skin to work in politics and a few cheap shots can be easily forgotten.

"Commentators writing nasty things about your policies are one thing, but when they turn it into endless personal insults, that's another."

During her day in Stirling, Widdecombe attended a Tory fund-raising rally and a question-and-answer session with politics students at St Modan's High School.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 23, 2000
Words:211
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