Rt Hon Lord Michael Howard QC
Former Leader of the Conservative Party
Michael Howard was born in 1941 in South Wales where his parents ran a clothes shop. He was educated at Llanelli Grammar School before winning a place at Peterhouse, Cambridge. During his time at university Michael became involved in Conservative politics and was elected to the committee of the Cambridge University Conservative Association before becoming President of the Cambridge Union in 1962.
After university Michael decided to focus on the law and trained to be a barrister. He was called to the Bar in 1964 and enjoyed a distinguished legal career culminating in his appointment as a Queens Counsel in 1982. During this period he fell in love with Sandra Paul, a successful 1960s model, and married her in 1975.
Michael Howard's life has been governed by the values he grew up with and still believes in today: hard work; fairness; honesty; tolerance; and patriotism. His career proves that he achieves what he sets out to do. He is highly competent, hugely experienced and his decency as a human being is acknowledged even by political opponents.
Michael was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe in 1983. The following year he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Solicitor General and went on to hold a number of ministerial offices. In 1990, he entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment, abolishing the closed shop and playing a crucial role in negotiating the UK's opt-out from the Social Chapter at Maastricht.
Following the 1992 election, Michael was appointed Secretary of State for the Environment. In this position he played a pivotal role in persuading President Bush to attend the Earth Summit in Rio, thus securing America's endorsement of the convention on climate change.
In May 1993, he became Home Secretary, a position he held for four years. During his term of office, crime fell by an unprecedented 18 per cent. When he left office, nearly a million fewer crimes a year were being committed than when he became Home Secretary four years before. From 1997 to 1999, Michael served as Shadow Foreign Secretary. In September 2001, he was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. In November 2003, Michael was elected Leader of the Conservative Party and of Her Majesty's Opposition. He held this position until November 2005.
His wide and varied political and business career enables him to speak proficiently on a vast array of topics including Finance & Economics and International Affairs & Politics. Lord Michael Howard QC has made a particular study of Winston Churchill's premiership and has received great acclamation for his lectures on the subject. Recent lectures have covered Leadership, Organisation Change and the UK's Global Standing. His main speaking topics include Leadership, Teamwork, Security, Risk and Making tough decisions.
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