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Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, PC, QC is a British politician who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005. He had previously held cabinet positions in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including Secretary of State for Employment, Secretary of State for the Environment and Home Secretary.

The Right Honourable

CH PC QC
Michael Howard 1099 cropped.jpg
Leader of the Opposition
In office
6 November 2003 – 6 December 2005
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Iain Duncan Smith
Succeeded by David Cameron
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
6 November 2003 – 6 December 2005
Deputy Michael Ancram
Preceded by Iain Duncan Smith
Succeeded by David Cameron
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
18 September 2001 – 6 November 2003
Leader Iain Duncan Smith
Preceded by Michael Portillo
Succeeded by Oliver Letwin
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
11 June 1997 – 15 June 1999
Leader William Hague
Preceded by John Major
Succeeded by John Maples
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
2 May 1997 – 11 June 1997
Leader John Major
Preceded by Jack Straw
Succeeded by Brian Mawhinney
Shadow Constitutional Affairs Spokesperson
In office
2 May 1997 – 11 June 1997
Leader John Major
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Michael Ancram
Home Secretary
In office
27 May 1993 – 2 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Ken Clarke
Succeeded by Jack Straw
Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
11 April 1992 – 27 May 1993
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Michael Heseltine
Succeeded by John Gummer
Secretary of State for Employment
In office
3 January 1990 – 11 April 1992
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded by Norman Fowler
Succeeded by Gillian Shephard
Minister of State for Housing
In office
25 July 1989 – 3 January 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by The Earl of Caithness
Succeeded by Michael Spicer
Minister of State for the Environment
In office
25 July 1988 – 25 July 1989
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by The Earl of Caithness
Succeeded by David Trippier
Minister of State for Local Government
In office
13 June 1987 – 25 July 1988
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Rhodes Boyson
Succeeded by John Gummer
Member of Parliament
for Folkestone and Hythe
In office
10 June 1983 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Albert Costain
Succeeded by Damian Collins
Personal details
Born Michael Hecht
(1941-07-07) 7 July 1941 (age 75)
Gorseinon, Wales
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sandra Paul
Children Nicholas
Larissa
Alma mater Peterhouse, Cambridge
Inns of Court School of Law
Religion Judaism

Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, PC, QC (born 7 July 1941) is a British politician who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005. He had previously held cabinet positions in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including Secretary of State for Employment, Secretary of State for the Environment and Home Secretary.

Howard was born in Gorseinon, South Wales. He studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, following which he joined the Young Conservatives. In 1964 he was called to the Bar and became a Queen's Counsel in 1982. He became a Member of Parliament (MP) in the 1983 General Election, representing the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe. This quickly led to promotion and Howard became Minister for Local Government in 1987. Under John Major (1990–1997), he held several cabinet positions including Secretary of State for Employment (1990–1992) and Home Secretary (1993–1997).

Following the Conservative Party's defeat in the 1997 General Election, Howard unsuccessfully made a bid for the post of Conservative Party Leader and held the posts of Shadow Foreign Secretary (1997–1999) and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001–2003). In November 2003, following the Conservative Party's vote of no confidence in its leader Iain Duncan Smith, he was elected unopposed. In the 2005 General Election, the Conservatives gained 33 new seats in Westminster, including five from the Liberal Democrats, but this still gave them only 198 seats to Labour's 355. Following the election, Howard resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party and was succeeded by David Cameron. Howard did not contest his seat of Folkestone and Hythe in the 2010 General Election and entered the House of Lords as Baron Howard of Lympne.

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