Michael Howard

Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne CH PC QC (born Michael Hecht; 7 July 1941)[2] is a British politician who served as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005. He previously held cabinet positions in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including Secretary of State for Employment, Secretary of State for the Environment and Home Secretary.

The Lord Howard of Lympne
Official portrait, 2018
Leader of the Opposition
In office
6 November 2003  6 December 2005
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byIain Duncan Smith
Succeeded byDavid Cameron
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
6 November 2003  7 October 2005 [1]
Preceded byIain Duncan Smith
Succeeded byDavid Cameron
Home Secretary
In office
27 May 1993  2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byKen Clarke
Succeeded byJack Straw
Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
11 April 1992  27 May 1993
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byMichael Heseltine
Succeeded byJohn Gummer
Secretary of State for Employment
In office
3 January 1990  11 April 1992
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byNorman Fowler
Succeeded byGillian Shephard
Minister of State for Housing
In office
25 July 1989  3 January 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Earl of Caithness
Succeeded byMichael Spicer
Minister of State for the Environment
In office
25 July 1988  25 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Earl of Caithness
Succeeded byDavid Trippier
Minister of State for Local Government
In office
13 June 1987  25 July 1988
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byRhodes Boyson
Succeeded byJohn Gummer
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
18 September 2001  6 November 2003
LeaderIain Duncan Smith
Preceded byMichael Portillo
Succeeded byOliver Letwin
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
11 June 1997  15 June 1999
LeaderWilliam Hague
Preceded byJohn Major
Succeeded byJohn Maples
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
2 May 1997  11 June 1997
LeaderJohn Major
Preceded byJack Straw
Succeeded byBrian Mawhinney
Shadow Constitutional Affairs Spokesperson
In office
2 May 1997  11 June 1997
Serving with William Hague
LeaderJohn Major
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMichael Ancram
Member of the House of Lords
Life peerage
20 July 2010
Member of Parliament
for Folkestone and Hythe
In office
9 June 1983  12 April 2010
Preceded byAlbert Costain
Succeeded byDamian Collins
Personal details
Born
Michael Hecht

(1941-07-07) 7 July 1941 (age 80)
Gorseinon, Swansea, Wales
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
(m. 1975)
Children2[citation needed]
Alma materPeterhouse, Cambridge
Inns of Court School of Law

Howard was born in Swansea. He studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, following which he joined the Young Conservatives. In 1964, he was called to the Bar and became a Queen's Counsel in 1982. He first became a Member of Parliament at the 1983 general election, representing the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe. This quickly led to his promotion and Howard became Minister for Local Government in 1987. Under the premiership of John Major, he served as Secretary of State for Employment (1990–1992), Secretary of State for the Environment (1992–1993) and Home Secretary (1993–1997).

Following the Conservative Party's landslide defeat at the 1997 general election, he unsuccessfully contested the leadership, and subsequently held the posts of Shadow Foreign Secretary (1997–1999) and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001–2003). In November 2003, following the Conservative Party's vote of no confidence in Iain Duncan Smith, Howard was elected to the leadership unopposed.

At the 2005 general election, the Conservatives gained 33 new seats in Parliament, including five from the Liberal Democrats; but this still gave them only 198 seats to Labour's 355. Following the election, Howard resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party and was succeeded by David Cameron. Howard did not contest his seat of Folkestone and Hythe in the 2010 general election and entered the House of Lords as Baron Howard of Lympne. Prior to Brexit he was supportive of the Eurosceptic pressure group Leave Means Leave.[3]


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