Former Leader of the Conservative Party and Member of Parliament for Folkestone & Hythe, Michael Howard now The Rt Hon. the Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC is now available for conference and after-dinner speaking.
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Read more about The Rt Hon. the Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC
The Rt Hon. the Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC entered the Government early, becoming Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry in 1985 with responsibility for regulating the financial dealings of the City of London. This junior post became very important as he oversaw the Big Bang introduction of new technology in 1986. After the 1987 election he became Minister for Local Government where he became involved in two major political controversies. On behalf of the Government, he accepted the amendment which became Section 28, and defended its inclusion. He then guided through the House of Commons the Local Government Finance Act 1988 which brought in Mrs Thatcher's new system of local taxation, officially known as the Community Charge but almost universally nicknamed the Poll Tax. Howard personally supported the tax and was respected by Mrs Thatcher for minimising the rebellion against it within the Conservative Party.
Michael Howard was born in Gorseinon, Swansea, Wales, near to Llanelli. He attended a state school and Peterhouse, Cambridge and was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1962.
He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1964 and specialised in employment law and planning issues. In the 1966 election he fought the safe Labour seat of Liverpool Edge Hill, which led to his support for Liverpool FC.
The late 60s saw his promotion within the Bow Group where he became Chairman in 1970 shortly after the general election in which he was again defeated at Edge Hill. At the Conservative Party conference of 1970, he made a speech commending the government for curbing trade union power.
Howard was elected unopposed as leader of the Conservative party in 2003.
The day after the May 2005 general election, Howard stated in a speech in the newly-gained Conservative seat in Putney that he would not lead the party into the next General Election as he would be "too old", and that he would stand down "sooner rather than later", following a revision of the Conservative leadership electoral process.
Michael Howard is married to 1960s model Sandra Paul. Their son Nicholas was born in 1976 and daughter Larissa in 1977.