Michael Portillo
Portillo portrait
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office:

May 10, 1996 - July 5, 2006

Preceded by: Neil Kinnock
Succeeded by: William Hague
Leader of the Opposition
In office:

October 1994 - May 10, 1996

Preceded by: Douglas Hurd
Succeeded by: Neil Kinnock
Shadow Defence Secretary
In office:

1991 - 1994

Preceded by: Unknown
Succeded by: Unknown

May 26 1953, Bushy, Hertfordshire

Died -
Nationality: British
Political party: Conservative

Carolyn Eadie

Children: None
Alma mater:

Harrow High School

Peterhouse, Cambridge 

Occupation: Politician
Religion: Non-denominational Christian

Michael Portillo is a British Conservative Party politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1996 - 2006).

First Elected MP for Enfield Southgate at the 1987 election, Portillo joined the shadow cabinet in 1989 as shadow Empoyment Secretary, and two years later became shadow Defence Secretary.

As leader of the opposition he moved the Conservatives in a distinctly libertarian direction, being more liberal on social policies and advocating classically liberal economic policies. However at the same time he voiced his support for the NHS, and pledged to protect the welfare state.

He led the conservative party to a landslide victory in the 1996 general election, becoming the first conservative Prime Minister since 1974. His first term was dominated by strong economic growth, and a strong commitment to deliver a balanced budget through efficency savings in public services.

Reelected in 2000, his second term was focused on foreign affairs, particularly the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He won a third election victory in 2004, but with a reduced majority.

In 2006 he was forced to resign following disappointing results in local elections.

He has subsequently chaired the Democrats International organisation of Centre-Right parties.

Early Life

Early Political Career

Leader of the Opposition

Portillo was elected leader of the Conservative party in October 1994.

Prime Minister

First Term 1996 - 2000

Portillo went to see the queen in the morning of May 10th 1996, and announced his cabinet that afternoon.

Second Term 2000 - 2004

The government was reelected at the 2004 general election but with a reduced majority.

Third Term 2004 - 2006

BBC Privatisation was also a major government policy. It had been a policy commitment to increase competition within the corporation in the 2000 conservative manifesto, but had faced strong opposition from both the Liberals, Labour and some conservative MP's. In October 2004 the BBC Privatisation Bill entered parilament,


May 1996 - October 1999

Prime Minister - Michael Portillo

Deputy Prime Minister - Malcolm Rifkind

Chancellor of the Exchequer - Kenneth Clarke

Foreign Secretary - John Redwood

Home Secretary - Michael Howard

Secretary of State for Defence -

Secretary of State for Health -

Secretary of State for Transport -


Secretary of State for Scotland - Malcolm Rifkind

Secretary of State for Wales - William Hague

2000 - 2003

Prime Minister - Michael Portillo

Chancellor of the Exchequer -

Foreign Secretary - Michael Howard

Home Secretary -

Defence Secretary -

2003 - 2004

2004 - 2006

Post Premiership

Personal Life

Portillo is married to Caroline Eadie.

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