Michael Howard
British politician
Michael Howard
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. Howard was born in Gorseinon, South Wales.
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Encino doctor is accused of sexually assaulting female patients during exams
LATimes - 2 months
An Encino doctor has been charged with sexually assaulting two female patients during exams in his office, authorities said. Michael Howard Popkin, 67, faces two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, one felony count of sexual battery by restraint and a felony count of sexual exploitation of a...
Article Link:
LATimes article
102-Year-Old Gets Arrested, Fulfilling One Zany Bucket List Wish
Huffington Post - 5 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); This arrest was one for the books. Edie Simms, a 102-year-old Missouri woman, was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser Friday as officers helped her fulfill an unusual bucket list wish: getting arrested. Simms was seen being cheerfully escorted to St. Louis’ Five Star Senior Center with accompanying St. Louis police officers that said they couldn’t be happier to help, KPLR reported. “We love it and we get more out of it than the seniors do ...
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Huffington Post article
New York City Small-Business Agency Will Get Budget Boost
Wall Street Journal - almost 2 years
By Michael Howard Saul Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday plans to propose increasing city funding to programs run by the Department of Small Business Services by 73.5%, a boost that officials said marked his administration’s commitment to bolstering the local economy.Mr. de Blasio, who on Thursday is expected to release an updated budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1, is recommending spending $43.9 million of city-taxpayer money for the small-business agency next year. The city has allocated $25.3 million for the agency in the current fiscal year. The mayor is proposing that the agency’s overall budget, including funding from other sources, such as the federal government, total $167 million. This year, the agency’s budget is $314 million, but aides said the current year’s budget includes $111 million in federal funding for superstorm Sandy recovery as well as other one-time federal grants. The agency’s adopted budget last year was $147 million.The release of Mr. de Blas ...
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Wall Street Journal article
New York Mayor Calls on Businesses to Raise Wages
Wall Street Journal - almost 2 years
By Michael Howard Saul Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday urged New York City employers to raise wages above $13 an hour, a proposal that received a mixed reaction in the business community.“It’s time for New York City businesses to take bold action—not only because hardworking New Yorkers deserve a path to the middle class and an opportunity to stay in the middle class—but because giving them that opportunity would do so much to help our economy,” Mr. de Blasio said during a breakfast for about 800 hosted by the Association for a Better New York, a group of local business and civic leaders.Mr. de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor in two decades, outlined how his administration is working to bolster the city’s economy.He announced that the city plans to invest $150 million over 12 years to revitalize the Bronx’s Hunts Point Terminal Market, the nation’s largest wholesale produce market.But he told the business leaders it is time “to do your part.” “Let’s recommit ourselves to making this ...
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Wall Street Journal article
The Oxymoron of Peace
Huffington Post - over 2 years
"At the same time, values and ideas which were considered universal, such as cooperation, mutual aid, international social justice and peace as an encompassing paradigm are also becoming irrelevant." Maybe this piercing observation by Roberto Savio, founder of the news agency Inter Press Service, is the cruelest cut of all. Geopolitically speaking, hope -- the official kind, represented, say, by the United Nations in 1945 -- feels fainter than I can remember. "We the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war . . ." I mean, it was never real. Five centuries of European colonialism and global culture-trashing, and the remaking of the world in the economic interests of competing empires, cannot be undone by a single institution and a cluster of lofty ideals. As Savio notes in an essay called "Ever Wondered Why the World Is a Mess?": "The world, as it now exists, was largely shaped by the colonial powers, which divided the wor ...
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Huffington Post article
EU would also be harmed by Brexit
Reuters.com - over 2 years
By Hugo Dixon Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own. It is not just Britain which would be damaged if it quit the European Union. So would other members. Jean-Claude Juncker’s nomination as Commission president at last Friday’s summit increases the chance of Brexit – Britain’s exit from the EU. Leaders from all countries now need to work to limit the risk it happens. David Cameron went out on a limb to block Juncker, and failed. The UK prime minister mishandled the diplomacy, notably by seemingly threatening to pull out of the EU if the former Luxembourg premier got the job. The chances of Britain quitting the EU in the next five years are probably about 20 percent – assuming a 50 percent chance of the Tories winning next year’s general election and a 40 percent chance of the British people voting to quit in a referendum Cameron has promised to hold by 2017. The opposition Labour party won’t hold a plebiscite if it wins the general ...
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Reuters.com article
Tories hire Lynton Crosby full-time
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Australian political strategist who had been advising David Cameron part-time joins re-election bid in £500,000 deal David Cameron has signed up the Australian election guru Lynton Crosby to work full-time on securing a Tory general election victory in a £500,000 deal. As well as bolstering the input from the Australian strategist, the lucrative contract secures polling services from his Sydney-based business partner Mark Textor, who was in London last week, and support from a team of staff. The prime minister recruited the man credited with Boris Johnson's ballot box successes at last year's London mayoral election to work part-time on boosting Tory re-election prospects and the refreshed deal signals that the party is shifting its 2015 preparations up a gear. A senior Tory told the Mail on Sunday: "We are thrilled to have Lynton. Labour hates him because they know he gets results." Crosby was closely associated with the Tories' failed crime and immigration-centred 2005 campaign ...
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Guardian (UK) article
House of Lords swells with addition of would-be-mayors and party donors
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Thirty new peerages announced as upper house grows to unmanageable 785, with Tories overtaking Labour A billionaire industrialist, a nightclub owner and the former boss of ITV were among 30 peerages announced in a working peers list that was dominated by donors to all parties. Fourteen Tory peers were announced, 10 Liberal Democrats, five Labour and one Green, taking the size of the Lords to an unmanageable 785, making it one of the largest legislatures in the world. The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott said the list included some good individuals but was contaminating parliament because of the number of big donors who had apparently been rewarded with peerages. "Cash for peerages pollutes parliament and the political parties that collude in this corruption," he said. Efforts had to be redoubled to reform the second chamber and take big money out of politics. The two big Tory donors appointed are Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, the yellow mechanical digger manufacturer, ...
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Guardian (UK) article
'Today' Turns To Unlikely Guest Host
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Viewers may know him best as the host of MTV's "Total Request Live" and NBC's "The Voice," but Carson Daly put on yet another hosting hat on Monday when he filled in for Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. Daly could be found, somewhat incongruously, behind the iconic NBC News desk between "Today" co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and weatherman Al Roker. He briefly introduced a few segments here and there, including one story about a major jewelry heist in France. While some viewers said they liked seeing Daly, others were not so sure. The Wall Street Journal's Michael Howard Saul tweeted, "Carson Daly is the guest host of the Today Show, filling in for Matt Lauer. Is he a journalist? I have already switched to GMA." Another viewer wrote, "I don't know what's sadder. Carson Daly hosting 'Today' or the people excited that Carson Daly is hosting 'Today.'" What do you think of Daly as a co-host? Tell us in the poll below. (h/t Brian Stelter)
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Huffington Post article
Prisoner privileges: Thinner porridge
The Economist - almost 4 years
“DECENT but austere” was Michael Howard’s mantra for prisons in the 1990s. Mr Howard, then the Conservative home secretary, introduced a system of incentives and earned privileges in 1995 to cajole prisoners into better behaviour. It has been tweaked considerably since then, by governments and governors experimenting with the rewards systems. But Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, now wants to toughen it up across the board. On April 30th he announced that the absence of bad behaviour will no longer be enough to earn privileges; prisoners must show “positive engagement” with their own rehabilitation.Prison privileges include access to private cash, television in cells, more family visits, the opportunity to wear one’s own clothes and to work in better-paid jobs, and more time outside the cells. Prisoners receive “basic,” “standard” or “enhanced” privileges depending on their behaviour. Only about 2% are currently on the “basic” level, where they get no TV, earn less and spend mo ...
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The Economist article
Opposition leaders: The moment of truth
The Economist - about 4 years
INITIALLY written off by much of the commentariat and the Conservative Party, Ed Miliband’s fortunes have been improving. Under his leadership the Labour Party now enjoys a healthy poll lead over the Tories. His recent call for the reinstatement of the lower, 10p income-tax band was hailed as a break from the previous Labour government (which controversially abolished it). But a comparison of Mr Miliband’s personal ratings with those of previous opposition leaders (see chart) suggests that his own popularity remains underwhelming—at what may well be a pivotal moment in the electoral cycle.His is justly known as “the hardest job in British politics”: the leader of the opposition has little control over events and must scrabble for attention. Of the nine incumbents since 1979, all but Tony Blair slipped into negative satisfaction ratings within a year of taking over. Until the end of 2011 Mr Miliband’s resembled those of the three recent Tory leaders who failed to become prime ministe ...
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The Economist article
New Measures Seen as Boost for Business
Wall Street Journal - over 4 years
By Michael Howard Saul The City Council and the Bloomberg administration on Tuesday outlined a series of measures aimed at easing the regulatory burden on small businesses, including eliminating obsolete violations and reducing the potential for fines."We've heard from too many businesses: 'I just can't take it anymore,'" said Council Speaker Christine Quinn during a City Hall news conference with members of the Bloomberg administration.Ms. Quinn, a Democrat who is preparing to run for mayor next year, said the new initiatives are aimed at changing what small-business owners perceive as the city's "gotcha" approach to the enforcement of codes and regulations. The city needs to develop a more "let's-work-together" ethos, she said."Most businesses want to and try hard to comply with all of the various city rules, regulations and laws, but because some regulations can be complex or confusing they're not always able to do so," Ms. Quinn said. "More emphasis needs to be placed on educating b ...
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Wall Street Journal article
Obituary: David Michael Howard was longtime political strategist
The Sacramento Bee - over 4 years
David Michael Howard, political director for the California Association of Realtors, died July 21 of lung cancer, his family said. He was 64.
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The Sacramento Bee article
21 Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair
Huffington Post - over 4 years
By Michael Howard, Wendy Kay, Donn Peters, and Susanne Jorgensen for YourTango.com Every woman in a relationship worries about infidelity, but unless he stumbles in late at night smelling like cheap perfume, it can be tough to tell whether your man is having an affair. Thankfully, our experts are here to help. Below are some of the ways you can discern whether you're just being jealous or he's actually up to no good. 1. He takes or makes phone calls in private. Although there may be a need for privacy when taking or making phone calls, if your partner retreats to the other room every time the phone rings, there may be something more going on, especially if this behavior is new or has suddenly become more frequent. --Michael Howard 2. He deletes the text history on his phone. Most people do not bother deleting old text messages ... at least not until the phone is full. If your partner makes sure that old messages are deleted -- or worse -- he deletes them as soon as he ...
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Huffington Post article
Mayor Taps Official to Aid Small Businesses
Wall Street Journal - over 4 years
By Michael Howard Saul In a direct attempt to preserve some of his administration's policies after he leaves office, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans on Thursday to establish a new office to help businesses, especially smaller ones, navigate city bureaucracy. Robert Steel, deputy mayor for economic development, is expected to announce the creation of a new business customer service initiative and the appointment of a chief business operations officer at a breakfast sponsored by the Association for a Better New York, a civics group. The new appointee, Tokumbo Shobowale, is Mr. Steel's chief of staff and will be charged with making the administration's business policies permanent, wherever possible, before a new mayor takes office in 2014.The announcement appears, in part, aimed at the current crop of Democratic mayoral candidates. After nearly a dozen years under Mr. Bloomberg, a businessman with unabashed Wall Street sympathies, there is concern among many in the private sec ...
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Press Complaints Commission chair risks Leveson clash with reform plans
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Lord Hunt is expected to set out proposals for press reform aimed at sidestepping fresh legislation Lord Hunt, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, risks a confrontation with Lord Justice Leveson next month when he is expected to present proposals for press reform aimed at sidestepping any fresh legislation. The PCC chairman, a former Conservative cabinet minter, recently submitted a detailed package of proposals to the judge's inquiry in conjunction with the Telegraph executive Lord Black, one-time press secretary to the former Conservative leader Michael Howard. Their plan envisages the creation of a revamped body with two divisions, a unit to handle complaints from the public and a standards arm to conduct investigations into subjects such as phone hacking, with the potential to levy fines. Newspapers would be locked into the system by long-term contracts recognising the authority of the proposed successor – and the team around Hunt says Richard Desmond, the owner o ...
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Guardian (UK) article
New York City Plans to Restrict Big-Size Soda Sales
Wall Street Journal - over 4 years
By Michael Howard Saul New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to prohibit the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants and other locations across the five boroughs, sparking intense opposition from the beverage industry and reviving criticism that the mayor is turning the city into a "nanny state."The mayor is proposing an amendment to the city health code to prohibit food-service establishments from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces, aides to the mayor confirmed late Wednesday night, arguing that sugary drinks have led to rising obesity rates for New Yorkers. The ban would apply to restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas, the administration said. Sixteen ounces is larger than most soda cans but smaller than most soda bottles.The proposal will be submitted to the Board of Health on June 12, which will mark the beginning of a three-month comment period before a vote. Since the mayor ...
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Officials Report Positive Bond Rating, With Tax Appeals the Only Negative
Barnegat- Ocean Acres Patch - almost 5 years
As part of the introduction of the municipal township budget for 2012, the Barnegat Township Committee explained the process of bond rating review to the public Monday night. Members of the public asked questions and offered more savings ideas during the public portion of the meeting. Presenting the findings from a bonding review process, which impacts the cost of debt, officials said Barnegat received a high rating from a bond rating agency, despite many other communities' less stellar results due to economic challenges. "I think it's quite an accomplishment considering the current economic conditions," said Township Administrator David Breeden Monday night. "Our bond raiting of A1 was affirmed, and that's an indication that the township is following solid financial practices endorsed and recognized nationwide." The rating came from Moody's Investment, a New York City-based corporation providing investor services internationally and one of the big three bond rating agencies t ...
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Barnegat- Ocean Acres Patch article
KEITH NEWBERY Posh boys tag will be milked until the cows come home...
Bognor Regis Observer - almost 5 years
The art of the political insult is not yet dead, but it is on life-support. Unfortunately, there’s precious little hope of a full recovery while Messrs Cameron and Miliband are spluttering at each other over the Despatch Box. Both favour the vituperative blunderbuss, where discourteous little pellets are blasted in all directions and the damage caused is rarely more than skin-deep. Neither man wields the stiletto of the finely-crafted taunt, which can be plunged in with relish and leaves the person thus perforated struggling for his or her political life. Invective of the highest class remains with the victim forever and enters into Westminster legend. Winston Churchill is acknowledged as its greatest exponent, and though his jousts with Nancy Astor have been recalled with relish down the years, it was his excoriating observation about Clement Atlee which did lasting damage. There is simply no way back for any politician who has been described as ‘a modest man with much to be mod ...
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Bognor Regis Observer article
Custody v community sentences: Smart on crime
The Economist - almost 5 years
IN 1993 Tony Blair, then an untried shadow home secretary, made a dramatic debut on the national political stage with an article titled “Why Crime is a Socialist Issue”. Many voters then saw Labour as soft on crime, too apt to blame it on deprivation and too keen to excuse offenders rather than punish them. Their sympathies lay with the Conservatives—especially the Tory who became home secretary that year, Michael Howard, who asserted: “Prison works”. Unfurling his own slogan, “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, Mr Blair for a time neutralised the Tories’ advantage on law and order. New Labour won the next three elections.Almost two decades later it is another Nixon-to-China moment, this time involving Conservative ministers who stress alternatives to custody. It is not only in Britain that criminal-justice reform has become a right-wing issue. The Right on Crime initiative, a creation of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think-tank, counts leading Republicans ...
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The Economist article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Michael Howard
  • 2015
    In 2015, Soma Oil and Gas, which Howard chairs, was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
    More Details Hide Details A UN report had accused Soma of "appearing to fund systematic payoffs to senior ministerial officials." Soma Oil and Gas denies any wrongdoing and Howard himself is not implicated in the accusations. Howard is chairman of Hospice UK.
  • 2011
    Howard was appointed a Companion of Honour in the 2011 Birthday Honours.
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    In February 2011 there was increased speculation that Cameron would reshuffle his cabinet, with Lord Howard brought in to replace Kenneth Clarke as Secretary of State for Justice.
    More Details Hide Details However, the post went to Chris Grayling.
  • 2010
    In 2010, it was announced David Cameron wanted Howard to join his Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, possibly as Lord Chancellor, via the House of Lords as part of David Cameron's appeal to rightwing Tories.
    More Details Hide Details However, it did not happen, Howard having criticised the government's proposal for a 'rehabilitation revolution'.
    He was formally introduced into the House of Lords on 20 July 2010 at 2:20pm, and attended Questions and debate later that day.
    More Details Hide Details He was introduced to the Chamber by past colleague Norman Lamont.
    His title was gazetted in the afternoon of 13 July 2010 as Baron Howard of Lympne, of Lympne in the County of Kent.
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    On 28 May 2010, it was announced in the Dissolution Honours List that Michael Howard would become a Conservative life peer in the House of Lords.
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    In 2010 Howard claimed a 45% decrease in crime since a 1993 study by Home Office criminologist Roger Tarling proved that prison worked though the prison population rose from 42,000 to nearly 85,000.
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  • 2008
    Crosby was later re-hired by the Conservative Party to run their successful campaign in the 2008 London Mayor election.
    More Details Hide Details In the lead up to the election campaign, Howard continued to impose strong party discipline, controversially forcing the deselection of Danny Kruger (Sedgefield), Robert Oulds and Adrian Hilton (both Slough) and Howard Flight (Arundel & South Downs).
  • 2006
    On 23 October 2006, Michael Howard revealed that he had voluntarily been questioned as a potential witness concerning the "Cash for Honours" investigation surrounding fundraising and the 2005 election campaign.
    More Details Hide Details He was not suspected of any criminal activity, was not accused of any criminal activity and gave evidence purely as a witness in an investigation focusing primarily on the Labour Government's use of the peerages system and their party fundraising.
    On 19 June 2006 the International Herald Tribune reported that Michael Howard would become chairman of Diligence Europe, a private intelligence and risk assessment company founded by former CIA and MI5 members.
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    On 13 July 2006 the Conservatives selected Damian Collins to stand in his place at that election.
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    Howard announced on 17 March 2006 that he would stand down as MP for Folkestone and Hythe at the 2010 election.
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  • 2005
    Howard stood down as leader in December 2005 and was replaced by David Cameron.
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    Despite announcing after the 2005 general election that he would vacate the role of party leader, Howard performed a substantial reshuffle of the party's front bench in which several rising star MPs were given their first shadow portfolios, including George Osborne and David Cameron.
    More Details Hide Details This move cleared the way for David Cameron (who had worked for Howard as a Special Advisor when the latter was Home Secretary) to stand for the Conservative Party leadership. The reforms to the party's election process took a number of months and Howard remained in his position for six months after the elections. During that period, he enjoyed a fairly pressure-free time, often making joking comparisons between himself and Tony Blair, both of whom had declared they would not stand at the next general election. He also oversaw Blair's first parliamentary defeat, when the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats and sufficient Labour Party rebels voted against government proposals to extend to 90 days the period that terror suspects could be held for without charge.
    During the 2005 campaign, Howard was criticised by some commentators for conducting a campaign which addressed the issues of immigration, asylum seekers and travellers, when he himself was the descendant of immigrants.
    More Details Hide Details Others pointed out that the continued media coverage of such issues created most of the controversy and that Howard merely defended his views when questioned at unrelated policy launches. Some evidence suggested that the public generally supported policies proposed by the Conservative Party when they were not told which party had proposed them, indicating that the party still had an image problem. Conservative John Major's 30% lead in 1992 amongst the sought after ABC1 voters (e.g. doctors, lawyers, managers) had all but disappeared by 2005. The campaign focus on immigration may have been influenced by Howard's election adviser Lynton Crosby, who earlier had run similar tactics in Australian elections. Whether the hiring of Crosby was a good idea or not in hindsight, his organisation of the campaign was credited with making the Conservative election drive much more professional and organised than at the previous election.
    In the 2005 general election (on 5 May 2005), Howard's Conservative Party failed to unseat the Labour government, although the Conservatives did gain 33 seats (including five from the Liberal Democrats) and Labour's majority shrank from 167 to 66.
    More Details Hide Details The Conservatives were left with 198 seats to Labour's 355. The Conservative share of the national vote increased by .6% from 2001 and 1.6% from 1997. The party ended with 32.4% of the total votes casts, which was within 3% of Labour on 35.2%. The day after the 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, already aged 63, he would be "too old" by that stage, and that he would stand down "sooner rather than later", following a revision of the Conservative leadership electoral process. Despite the election of a third consecutive Labour government, Howard described the election as "the beginning of a recovery" for the Conservative party following Labour's landslide victories in 1997 and 2001. Howard's own constituency of Folkestone and Hythe had been heavily targeted by the Liberal Democrats as the most sought after prize of their failed "decapitation" strategy of seeking to gain seats from prominent Conservatives. Yet Howard almost doubled his majority to 11,680, while the Liberal Democrats saw their vote fall.
  • 2004
    In November 2004, Newsnight again concentrated on Howard with coverage of a campaign trip to Cornwall and an interview with Jeremy Paxman.
    More Details Hide Details The piece, which purported to show that members of the public were unable to identify Howard and that those who recognised him did not support him, was the subject of an official complaint from the Conservative Party. The complaint argued that the Newsnight team spoke only to people who held opinions against either Michael Howard or the Conservatives and that Paxman's style was bullying and unnecessarily aggressive. In this programme, Paxman also returned to his question from 1997. Howard returned briefly to Newsnight on Jeremy Paxman's final episode on 18 June 2014 for a cameo.
    In February 2004, Howard called on PM Tony Blair to resign over the Iraq war, for failing to ask "basic questions" regarding WMD claims and misleading Parliament.
    More Details Hide Details In July the Conservative leader stated that he would not have voted for the motion that authorised the Iraq war had he known the quality of intelligence information on which the WMD claims were based. At the same time, he said he still believed in the Iraq invasion was right because "the prize of a stable Iraq was worth striving for". His criticism of Blair did not earn Howard any sympathy in Washington DC, where President Bush refused to meet him. Karl Rove is reported to have told Howard, "you can forget about meeting the president. Don't bother coming."
  • 2003
    Howard was named 2003 Parliamentarian of the Year by The Spectator and Zurich UK.
    More Details Hide Details This was in recognition of his performance at the dispatch box in his previous role as Shadow Chancellor. However, 12 months after he became party leader, his personal popularity with the public had not increased from that of several years before. Neither had that of his party in the opinion polls.
    After Duncan Smith was removed from the leadership, Howard was elected unopposed as leader of the party in November 2003.
    More Details Hide Details As leader, he faced much less discontent within the party than any of his three predecessors and was seen as a steady hand. He avoided repeating such managerial missteps as Duncan Smith's firing of David Davis as Conservative Party Chairman, and imposed discipline quickly and firmly; he removed the party whip from Ann Winterton after she joked about 23 Chinese migrants' deaths.
    In November 2003, following the Conservative Party's vote of no confidence in its leader Iain Duncan Smith, he was elected unopposed.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Howard was born Michael Hecht in Gorseinon in the northwest of Swansea, Wales. He is the son of Bernat Hecht, who was born in Romania and came to Britain in 1939. His mother, Hilda (Kershion), lived in Wales from the age of 6 months. Both of Howard's parents were from Jewish families, and Howard is a practising Jew. When Howard was six, the family name, Hecht, was anglicized to Howard.
  • 2001
    After the 2001 general election, Howard was recalled to frontline politics when the Conservative Party's new leader, Iain Duncan Smith, appointed him Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    More Details Hide Details His performances in the post won him much praise, indeed under his guidance the Conservatives decided to debate the economy on an 'Opposition Day' for the first time in several years.
  • 1999
    Howard served as Shadow Foreign Secretary for the next two years but retired from the Shadow Cabinet in 1999, though remaining an MP.
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  • 1997
    Following the 1997 resignation of John Major, Howard and William Hague announced they would be running on the same ticket, with Howard as leader and Hague as Deputy Leader and Party Chairman.
    More Details Hide Details The day after they agreed this, Hague decided to run on his own. Howard also stood but his campaign was marred by attacks on his record as Home Secretary. Howard came in last out of five candidates with the support of only 23 MPs in the first round of polling for the leadership election. He then withdrew from the race and endorsed the eventual winner William Hague.
    Six days after the 1997 Newsnight interview, Ann Widdecombe, his former minister of state at the Home Office, made a statement in the House of Commons about the dismissal of then director of the Prison Service, Derek Lewis, and remarked of Howard that "there is something of the night about him", a widely quoted comment that may have contributed to the failure of his 1997 bid for the Conservative Party leadership.
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    His reputation was dented on 13 May 1997 when a critical inquiry into a series of prison escapes was published.
    More Details Hide Details In advance of the publication Howard made statements to assign blame to the prison service. Television interviewer Jeremy Paxman asked him the same question 12 times in all during an edition of the Newsnight programme. Asking whether Howard had intervened when Derek Lewis sacked a prison governor, Paxman asked: "Did you threaten to overrule him?" Howard did not give a direct answer, instead repeatedly saying that he "did not instruct him" and ignoring the "threaten" part of the question. Paxman resumed his question in another interview in 2004. A surprised Howard remarked: "Oh come on Jeremy, are you really going back over that again? As it happens, I didn't. Are you satisfied now?" Secret Home Office papers partially vindicated Howard but show that Howard asked a top civil servant if he had the power to overrule the Prison Service director general.
  • 1994
    This campaign was successful, and in July 1994 Howard announced that the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of fifteen years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008, by which time they would be 25 years of age.
    More Details Hide Details A former Master of the Rolls, Lord Donaldson, criticised Howard's intervention, describing the increased tariff as "institutionalised vengeance... by a politician playing to the gallery". The increased minimum term was overturned in 1997 by the House of Lords, who ruled that it was "unlawful" - (the decision was declared substantively "ultra vires") - for the Home Secretary to decide on minimum sentences for young offenders. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have since ruled that, though Parliament may set minimum and maximum terms for individual categories of crime, it is the responsibility of the trial judge, with the benefit of all the evidence and argument from both prosecution and defence counsel, to determine the minimum term in individual criminal cases.
  • 1993
    In 1993, after the murder of James Bulger, two eleven-year-old boys were convicted of his murder and sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, with a recommended a minimum term of eight years.
    More Details Hide Details Lord Taylor of Gosforth, the Lord Chief Justice, ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of ten years. The editors of The Sun newspaper handed a petition bearing nearly 280,000 signatures to Howard, in a bid to increase the time spent by both boys in custody.
    In this capacity he encouraged the United States to participate in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, but shortly afterwards he was appointed Home Secretary in a 1993 reshuffle initiated by the sacking of Norman Lamont as Chancellor.
    More Details Hide Details As Home Secretary he pursued a tough approach to crime, summed up in his sound bite, "prison works". During his tenure as Home Secretary, recorded crime fell by 16.8%.
  • 1992
    He retained his cabinet post under John Major and campaigned against trade union power during the 1992 general election campaign.
    More Details Hide Details His work in the campaign led to his appointment as Secretary of State for the Environment in the reshuffle after the election.
  • 1990
    He subsequently guided through legislation abolishing the closed shop, and campaigned vigorously for Thatcher in the first ballot of the 1990 Conservative Party leadership contest, although he told her a day before she resigned that he felt she wasn't going to win and that John Major was better placed to defeat Michael Heseltine.
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  • 1988
    After a period as Minister for Water and Planning in 1988–89, during which he was responsible for implementing water privatisation in England and Wales, Howard was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment in January 1990 following the resignation of Norman Fowler.
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    Howard guided the 1988 Local Government Finance Act through the House of Commons.
    More Details Hide Details The act brought in Margaret 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 won Thatcher's respect for minimising the rebellion against it within the Conservative Party.
  • 1987
    After the 1987 general election, he became Minister for Local Government.
    More Details Hide Details Following a proposal from backbench MP David Wilshire, he accepted the amendment which would become Section 28 (prohibiting local governments from the "promotion" of homosexuality) and defended its inclusion.
  • 1986
    This junior post became very important, as he oversaw the Big Bang introduction of new technology in 1986.
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  • 1985
    Howard gained quick promotion, 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.
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  • 1983
    Howard voted for the reintroduction of the death penalty for the killing of police officers on duty and for murders carried out with firearms in 1983 and 1990, though he voted against it for cold-blooded and premeditated murder in 1987 and 1990.
    More Details Hide Details In 1991 he changed his mind and became against the reintroduction of the death penalty, regardless of the crime, and voted against it again in February 1994.
    Howard won the seat at the 1983 general election.
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  • 1982
    In June 1982, Howard was selected to contest the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe in Kent after the sitting Conservative MP, Sir Albert Costain, decided to retire.
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  • 1975
    They subsequently married in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details They have a son born in 1976 and a daughter born in 1977. At the 1966 general election and 1970 general election, Howard unsuccessfully contested the safe Labour parliamentary constituency of Liverpool Edge Hill reinforcing his strong support for Liverpool F.C. which he has held since childhood.
  • 1970
    At the Conservative Party conference in October 1970, he made a notable speech commending the government for attempting to curb trade union power and also called for state aid to strikers' families to be reduced or stopped altogether, a policy which the Thatcher government pursued over a decade later.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1970s, Howard was a leading advocate of British membership of the Common Market (EEC) and served on the board of the cross-party Britain in Europe group. Howard was named as co-respondent in the high-profile divorce case of 1960s model Sandra Paul (now Sandra Howard).
    The late 1960s saw Howard's promotion within the Bow Group, where he became Chairman in April 1970.
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  • 1964
    Howard was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1964 and specialised in employment and planning law.
    More Details Hide Details Unlike his many Cambridge contemporaries, he continued his career at the Bar, becoming a practising Queen's Counsel in 1982 (unlike many barrister-MPs who are awarded the title as an honorific despite no longer practising at the Bar).
  • 1962
    After taking a 2:1 in the first part of the economics tripos, he switched to law and graduated with a 2:2 in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details He was one of a cluster of Conservative students at Cambridge University around this time, sometimes referred to as the "Cambridge Mafia", many of whom held high government office under Margaret Thatcher and John Major (see: Cambridge University Conservative Association).
    He was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1962.
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  • 1952
    Howard passed his eleven-plus exam in 1952 and then attended Llanelli Boys' Grammar School.
    More Details Hide Details He joined the Young Conservatives at age 15. He obtained eight O-levels and his subsequent A-levels earned him a place at Peterhouse at Cambridge University.
  • 1941
    Born on July 7, 1941.
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