|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
March 17, 2005 - June 27, 2007
|Preceded by:||Michael Portillo|
|Succeeded by:||William Hague|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
July 10, 2001 - March 17, 2005
|Preceded by:||Peter Lilley|
|Succeeded by:||Oliver Letwin|
June 3, 1999 - July 10, 2001
|Preceded by:||John Redwood|
|Succeeded by:||William Hague|
July 7 1941, Gorseinon, Wales
Michael Howard is a British conservative politician who served as Prime Minister (2005 - 2007). He was one of only a handful of British politicians to serve in all of the four great offices of state (Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Chancellor and Prime Minister) and as such was an influential political figure during the Conservative government's of 1996 until he retired from government in 2007.
He was considered Portillo's natural successor following the resignation of Ken Clarke in 2003, and was in effect the de facto Deputy Prime Minister during the last two years of the Portillo government.
Howard won the leadership election that ensued following Portillo's surprise resignation in February 2005, and led the Conservatives to a victory - albeit with a drastically reduced majority - in the May 2005 general election.
His leadership marked a slight turn to the right, particularly over Europe.
Pressure mounted on him to resign following disappointing results in the 2006 local elections.
In May 2007 he resigned, feeling he would be unable to lead the Conservatives to a fourth successive general election victory, but remained acting leader until his successor was elected.
Early Political Career
Home Secretary 1996 - 1999
Howard served as Home Secretary for most of the Portillo government's first term. Being seen as a strong law-and-order figure, Howard was considered Portillo's largest concession to the hard right of the party.
Foreign Secretary 1999 - 2001
In the reshuffle that followed the resignation of John Redwood, Howard replaced Redwood as Foreign Secretary.
Chancellor of the Exchequer 2001 - 2005
2005 Conservative Party Leadership Election
Following Portillo's resignation announcement Howard was the immediate frontrunner for the leadership, so much so that other potential candidates David Cameron, Liam Fox and William Hague were quick to endorse him.
Howard officially announced his candidacy on 17th February, stating that if elected he would continue to promote "new blood" into the cabinet. The remark backfired somewhat, with Private Eye portraying him as a Vampire.
He faced Kenneth Clarke, David Davis, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Ancram in the first ballot, with Alan Duncan announcing his intention to stand before withdrawing.
Howard led on the first ballot.
Prime Minister - Michael Howard
Deputy Prime Minister -
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Oliver Letwin
Foreign Secretary - William Hague
Home Secretary - David Davis
Defence Secretary - Liam Fox
Health Secretary - Andrew Lansley
Education Secretary - David Cameron
Employment Secretary - Iain Duncan Smith
Environment Secretary -
Business Secretary - George Osborne
Transport Secretary - Theresa May
Scottish Secretary -
Welsh Secretary -
Howard remained a prominent backbencher for the rest of the parliament, but announced he would step down at the next election.
In 2010 he was created Baron Howard of Lympe.