Who is Strictly 2020 star Jacqui Smith?

THE Strictly Come Dancing line up has been revealed with Jacqui Smith joining the top-rated show soon to hit screens in just over a month.

So what do we know about the former Home Secretary and does she have the dancing skills befit for Brits' beloved talent show.

Who is Jacqui Smith?

Smith was born in 1962 in Malvern, Worcestershire, to parents who were both teachers and Labour councillors.

The 57-year-old is a former economics teacher and has had a decades-long career in UK politics.

She holds a BA in philosophy, politics and economics, Hertford College, Oxford; PGCE, Worcester College.

Since leaving politics, she has rebranded herself as a TV personality and broadcaster, appearing on a variety of current affairs talk shows.

She has regularly been on This Week and Question Time and was also a regular weekly commentator on Sky News's Press Preview Program.

Since 2017, Smith has co-hosted a weekly political and current affairs podcast, entitled 'For The Many', alongside LBC broadcaster Iain Dale.

She is also the Chair of the Jo Cox Foundation and the Chair of Sandwell Children's Trust.

In September this year, Ben Shephard confirmed Smith’s spot on Strictly Come Dancing on Good Morning Britain.

As Shephard wrapped up an interview he shared: "One appointment we can all agree on though, is Jacqui Smith for Strictly, that is one we are all very excited about".

When was she Home Secretary, and what other roles has she held in government?

Jacqui Smith, 57, was the UK’s first female Home Secretary.

She served from 2007 to 2009 under Labour’s Gordon Brown.

At the time, she said: "To be given the job of protecting the British people, our borders, our communities, that's a pretty good job, it's a great honour."

But in 2009 she was forced to step down because of an expenses scandal.

She was caught in an expenses row when her husband at the time Richard Timney claimed for two adult films on public money.

She quit her Cabinet post in June 2009 over reports she wrongly claiming £116,000 in second home allowances and had named a room at her sister’s house in London as her main residence.

In 2011 it also emerged that Smith had arranged two prisoners on day-release to paint a room in her house, when the were in fact supposed to be undertaking work to benefit the community.

Ms Smith boasted a long career in government after entering Parliament as MP for Redditch in 1997 when she was 34 after winning the former Tory stronghold.

Her son was just one year old at the time.

She was then appointed junior education minister in 1999 and was made deputy minister for women and equality in 2003.

She became Schools Minister in 2005 and then Chief Whip of the House of Commons Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury in 2006.

Is she married and does she have children?

Smith married Richard Timney in 1987.

She also employed her husband as her Parliamentary aid on a salary of £40,000.

The couple split in 2019 after 33 years together.

She and Timney share two sons together.

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