Strictly Come Dancing star Ann Widdecombe made an ass of herself today as she donned a Christmas hat and led two DONKEYS through a town centre.
Looking thoroughly miserable, the former Tory MP wore a bright red jumper as she dragged the two reluctant animals through Newton Abbot, Devon.
The former Home Office minister spent half-an-hour walking with the donkeys – named Dove and Teasel – in freezing conditions.
Ann, 63, was lending her support to a Christmas campaign by charity Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of neglected and abused donkeys in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
A harsh political climate means the animals there can end up victims of the poverty and violence which dominates the region.
Ann, who has defied the odds to reach week 10 of Strictly Come Dancing, said: ”It’s terrible that these gentle animals, which play a key part in the Nativity story, should be so badly treated.
”I’ve supported Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land for many years as the work they do is amazing. It is the only charity in the area helping these lovely donkeys.
”I’ve spent time at the donkey sanctuary in Israel myself and know that too many donkeys in the region are treated cruelly or abandoned.”
The star of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing ballroom competition took time out from training to give her support to the campaign.
She added: ”I’m hoping to attend the charity’s 10th Anniversary dinner this year but it’s the same night as the Strictly Come Dancing Final. I’ve promised to come along if I can but that will be up to the public in the end.
”I am hoping to visit the sanctuary again soon – it’s incredibly inspiring to see the work they do there and I love helping out with the care of these lovely animals.”