Protesters threw a custard pie into Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe's face at a book-signing in Oxford.

Two people were arrested at the scene. A man aged 27 was charged with using threatening words and behaviour, and a 28-year-old woman was charged with assault and affray. Both were bailed to appear before magistrates in the city on Thursday.

An anti-racist group calling itself the Campsfield High Command of the Biotic Baking Brigade claimed responsibility. In a statement later, the group said: "Ann Widdecombe learned a valuable lesson in home economics that stirring up race hatred is a recipe for getting your just desserts. "Widdecombe has been especially vocal in trying to win votes by playing the race card against refugees and asylum-seekers. The attack happened at Waterstone's, in Broad Street, Oxford, yesterday as Miss Widdecombe arrived to sign copies of her novel, The Clematis Tree.

The former Lady Margaret Hall student was shaken but unhurt and carried on after a cup of tea.

She said: "I deplore entirely the behaviour of these protesters. This demonstration was a mindless waste of police time carried out by people who clearly have no respect for free speech."

The book store said security precautions had been taken and it regretted the distress caused to Miss Widdecombe.