A FORMER MP and Strictly Come Dancing star will be a judge for the ‘Run Monmouthshire council for a Day’ competition.

Ann Widdecombe has hailed the inaugural contest, the first of its kind in Britain, as a ‘once-in-a-childhood’ opportunity for youngsters to experience local politics up close and personal.

Her appointment completes the four-strong panel, which also includes Monmouth MP David Davies, Monmouthshire leader Cllr Peter Fox and bestselling young adult author Lucy Christopher.

Together, they will decide which eight children should be given the chance to run the county council as its ‘Chief Executive’ for a day.

The winners will work alongside councillors, cabinet members and executives at its Usk Headquarters and oversee proceedings in both a full council and committee meeting, as well as participating directly in certain decision-making processes.

Ms Widdecombe, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said: “It is with great pleasure that I have joined the Run MCC for a Day judging panel.” Eight winners will spend a day in chief executive Paul Matthews’ shoes on April 10. The competition, open to children between seven and 18, closes on March 14. Visit www.monmothshire.gov.uk/runMCC