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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 09:46 GMT
Ann Winterton: A 'family values' Tory
Ann Winterton, the Conservative MP sacked for telling a tasteless joke, has previous form for such behaviour.

Ann Winterton
Winterton was sacked before over joke
Only two years ago, while a senior member of Iain Duncan Smith's shadow team, she was also sacked for making a racist joke about Pakistanis.

She has always been one of the Tory backbenches' more outspoken and controversial figures and was a surprise appointment when Mr Duncan Smith promoted her to the opposition frontbench.

Mrs Winterton was elected MP for Congleton in 1983 and before being given a more senior job, was the Conservative spokeswoman on drugs misuse.

She is a leading opponent of abortion, embryo research and euthanasia and is vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary pro-life group.

She championed a bill aimed at stopping medical euthanasia.

'Unfortunate remark'

Mrs Winterton is described as the archetype of a "family values" Tory.

Iain Duncan Smith
Duncan Smith previously sacked Winterton
She has vociferously campaigned against embryo experimentation, Sunday trading, pornographic videos and fluoride.

The independent thinking right-winger opposed pit closures, voted against the Maastricht Treaty and VAT on domestic fuel.

She is pro-capital punishment and strongly pro-hunting.

She previously led for the Opposition in the hunting debate, calling it an issue of "freedom and liberty". She counts riding among her hobbies.

Rural issues

She has always championed rural issues and served for 10 years on the Agriculture Select Committee.

Born in 1941, she is the daughter of a Durham miner who migrated to the Midlands during the depression.

She spent her school years at Erdington Girls Grammar School and married Nicholas Winterton, MP for neighbouring Macclesfield, when she was 19.

Mrs Winterton and her husband have two sons and a daughter and six grandsons.

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