Politics is like a beauty contest ... you do your thing, people vote, hopefully you win, says Miss GB as she stands in Crewe


Last updated at 23:35 10 May 2008

If it's true that a week is a long time in politics, then Gemma Garrett can happily lay claim to a lengthy political career. It has, after all, spanned all of five days.

During that heady time – which began when her political ambition was awoken (literally) with a late-night telephone call – her manifesto has been hastily scribbled, her political party formed and her candidacy secured with the requisite ten local nominations.

Last Tuesday Gemma became a candidate for Crewe and Nantwich. It was official – party animal had become party political animal.

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It's my party: Gemma Garrett wants to make politics 'sexy not sleazy'

The 26-year-old current Miss Great Britain is standing under the banner of a newly created party, Beauties For Britain.

Gemma, runner-up in last year's Miss GB competition, bizarrely took the title earlier this month when this year's competition was cancelled by organiser Robert de Keyser.

He was preoccupied by a row with girlfriend and company director Ashly Rae over a five-figure sum she had spent on private dental care.

"Politics," Gemma explained from behind enormous pink-tinted sunglasses, "is quite boring at the moment. It's a bit serious and a bit dowdy.

"At first I just didn't see myself fitting in that easily . . . as you can imagine. I did actually laugh when it was suggested to me.

"But I'm a caring person and I wanted to put my name to something and help others. I do want to help others and make a difference."

Then she added: "Look, I don't know anything about politics.

"I have to admit that actually it wasn't my idea and when it was suggested to me that I stand, I thought it was insane at first."

She was convinced to stand in that late-night call by De Keyser, 57, and the fashion tycoon quickly reinvented himself as a political agent-cum-svengali.

A campaign slogan pronouncing Gemma's desire to make politics "sexy not sleazy" was coined.

By Tuesday night Gemma was in Crewe, in heels, a sparkly dress and at the town's bars and clubs, canvassing for locals willing to back her candidacy.

Gemma says: "Within a couple of hours we had all ten we needed.

"To be honest the guys would have signed to anything but the girls and young women I spoke to were really interested in what I had to say and what I believe in.

"Since then it's all happened very rapidly indeed – all these days are just morphing into one, long, mad day.

"I've never done anything like this before but in some ways beauty pageants aren't that different from politics. You do your thing, people vote and hopefully you win."

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