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Strictly Come Dancing’s Jacqui Smith: Who is she?

Will Jacqui's history as a politician and pundit prepare her for Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood's cutting jibes?

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Strictly Come Dancing’s newest line-up includes former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith – the first woman to ever hold the post.

But will her Strictly career become as infamous as fellow politician’s Anne Widdecombe and Ed Balls?

Who is Jacqui Smith?

Labour politician Jacqui was the Home Secretary between 2007 and 2009, and now works as a TV pundit.

She is one of twelve celebrities taking part in Strictly 2020.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: Male pros ‘competing to partner with EastEnders actress Maisie Smith’

Why did Jacqui step down as Home Secretary?

In 2009, it emerged that her then-husband Richard Timney, had watched pay-per-view porn movies while was employed as her parliamentary aid.

Jacqui had then filed an expenses claim for this.

The furore that followed led to her stepping down from her position.

I was the one who did the wrong thing.

“Just couldn’t believe that we – both of us – had put in this claim,” she told the Radio Times back in 2011.

She was asked not to resign immediately by the then prime minister Gordon Brown, however, said she took responsibility for the claim.

Jacqui blamed herself for not “going through the expense form closely enough.”

Jacqui appearing on Sky News as a TV pundit
Jacqui appearing on Sky News as a TV pundit (Credit: Sky News/YouTube)

The incident  left her husband “devastated”.

At the same time, it was revealed that she had wrongly claimed £116,000 in second home allowances, naming a room at her sister’s house in London as her main residence.

Where was Jacqui Smith born?

Jacqui was born in 1962 in Malvern, Worcestershire, to parents who were both teachers and Labour councillors. She gained a BA in philosophy, politics and economics from Hertford College, Oxford, and a PGCE from Worcester College.

She went on to become an economics teacher, before moving into UK politics.

What does Jacqui do now?

Since leaving politics, she is  often seen on Good Morning Britain, This Week and Question Time.

Running a podcast with LBC host Iain Dale and is a regular commentator on Sky News’ Press Preview.

When was Jacqui Smith Home Secretary? 

She became Home Secretary in 2007 and was the UK’s first female Home Secretary.

Saying at the time: “it’s a great honour.”

The former MP  held the roles of  Junior Education Minister in 1999 and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality in 2003.

Jacqui became School’s Minister in 2005 and then Chief Whip of the House of Commons Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury in 2006.

Who is Jacqui’s husband?

Jacqui married Richard Timney in 1987, who she employed as her Parliamentary aid on a salary of £40,000.

The couple split in 2019 after 33 years together. They have two sons.

Strictly returns with its launch show on Saturday 17 October

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