Michael Howard

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Person.png Lord Howard   Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Deep politician)
BornMichael Hecht
Gorseinon, United Kingdom
Alma materPeterhouse (Cambridge), Inns of Court School of Law
ChildrenNicholas Larissa
SpouseSandra Paul
Member ofGeorgetown Leadership Seminar/1983, Königswinter/Speakers, Le Cercle
United Kingdom deep politician, Georgetown Leadership Seminar/1983

Employment.png UK/Leader of the Opposition Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
6 November 2003 - 6 December 2005
Preceded byIain Duncan Smith
Succeeded byDavid Cameron

Employment.png Leader of the Conservative Party Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
6 November 2003 - 6 December 2005
Preceded byIain Duncan Smith
Succeeded byDavid Cameron

Employment.png Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
18 September 2001 - 6 November 2003
DeputyJohn Bercow
Preceded byMichael Portillo
Succeeded byOliver Letwin

Employment.png Shadow Foreign Secretary Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
11 June 1997 - 15 June 1999
Preceded byJohn Major

Employment.png Shadow Home Secretary Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
2 May 1997 - 11 June 1997
Preceded byJack Straw

Employment.png Home Secretary Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
27 May 1993 - 2 May 1997
Preceded byKenneth Clarke
Succeeded byJack Straw

Employment.png Secretary of State for the Environment Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
11 April 1992 - 27 May 1993
Preceded byMichael Heseltine

Employment.png Secretary of State for Employment Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
3 January 1990 - 11 April 1992

Employment.png UK/Minister for Housing

In office
25 July 1989 - 3 January 1990

Employment.png UK/Minister for the Environment

In office
25 July 1988 - 25 July 1989

Employment.png Minister of State for Local Government

In office
13 June 1987 - 25 July 1988

Not to be confused with Chatham House expert Michael Howard (Historian)

Michael Howard (Baron Howard of Lympne) is a British politician who was Leader of the Conservative Party.[1]

UK Home Secretary

Michael Howard has claimed that he could not recall the name "Baybaşin".[2]

Shadow Home Secretary

"Did you threaten to overrule him?"

On 13 May 1997, BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman interrogated Shadow Home Secretary Michael Howard about the controversial dismissal of the head of the prison service, Derek Lewis, by repeatedly asking the same question: "Did you threaten to overrule him?" and not getting an answer.

Twenty years later in August 2017, the former Tory leader, who now sits in the House of Lords, sought to explain why he had not given Paxman a straight answer at the time:

"Look, I was being asked these questions by Jeremy years after the event.
"This interview took place during the 1997 Conservative Leadership campaign. These events had happened two years earlier. I’d been campaigning all day, I hadn’t remotely been thinking about Derek Lewis or prisons, I’d been thinking about the Tory Leadership…
"This is not an excuse but perhaps an explanation. At the end of the day, long day when you’re tried, you know what these days are like, that – I wasn’t able to go back over the history and so I answered in my own way, as the phrase goes."

Lord Howard has previously described the grilling as “not the most enjoyable experience ever” while political commentators frequently refer back to it.

When Paxman stood down from Newsnight in 2014 The Guardian called the 1997 interview "a masterclass in persistence, even if it merely led to a very uncomfortable stalemate".[3]


Appointments by Michael Howard

John BercowShadow Minister for Overseas Development10 November 20038 September 2004
Boris JohnsonShadow Minister for the Arts14 April 200417 November 2004


Related Quotation

Leader of the Conservative Party“All Tory leaders have surrounded themselves with an inner circle, which has given them ballast and in certain important respects defined their leadership. John Major had a winning fondness for palpable fakes, like Jeffrey Archer and David Mellor; Margaret Thatcher liked hirsute North London entrepreneurs with a ‘can-do’ attitude and heavy jewellery. Michael Howard’s chosen milieu is constructed of dapper, well-spoken men and women, many of whom live within walking distance of one another in west London. Cameron is unmistakably the leader of these Notting Hill Tories, but others include Michael Howard’s political secretary Rachel Whetstone, his speechwriter Ed Vaizey, marketing expert Steve Hilton, policy man Nick Boles, along with the newspaper columnists Edward Heathcoat Amory and his wife Alice Thomson.”Peter Oborne19 June 2004
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