​Ann Widdecombe: "I'd rather have fame than fortune"

Donna Ferguson
The Conservative Party Annual Conference Continues In Birmingham
The Conservative Party Annual Conference Continues In Birmingham

Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister, would rather be measured by what she's done than what she owns.

Here, she talks to AOL Money about her biggest money regrets and the mortgage advice she was given by her dad.

What's the biggest difference that money has made to your life?

I don't think it has. I don't give it that sort of importance. Compared to health, it's nothing. If you haven't got health, you haven't got anything.

What's the best financial advice you've ever been given?

Golly. Probably the best piece of advice I've been given was from my father when I was buying my first property. He said: Never mind today's mortgage rates - always work out what it could be in the future. I think a lot of people could be trapped by that now. But I listened, and I took his advice.

What's your biggest money regret?

Probably that I didn't accord it more priority. But on the other hand, I've had a much fuller life for not doing so.

Would you rather have fame or fortune?

Fame, because fame measures what you do - and fortune measures what you have.

Why do you think it's important to donate to charity?

A few years ago, before the [West Bank Barrier] wall was finished in Israel, a Palestinian boy found a donkey by the wayside which incapable of standing up. He knew about a sanctuary for donkeys run by a charity I support, called Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, but he had no idea how he was going to get the donkey there. So this Palestinian boy approached, of all people, an Israeli soldier and the Israeli soldier put the donkey on a truck and took it to the sanctuary. I think that's a wonderful parable which shows how supporting a charity can have an impact, even - in a small way - on peace in the Middle East.

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