Howard, Michael,1941–, British politician, leader of the Conservative party (2003–5), b. Llanelli, Wales, as Michael Hecht. The son of immigrants (his father changed the family name after becoming a British subject in 1947), he was educated at Cambridge and became a successful barrister. In 1983 he was elected to Parliament, and in 1985 became a junior minister under Prime Minister Margaret ThatcherThatcher, Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, Baroness,
1925–2013, British political leader. Great Britain's first woman prime minister, nicknamed the "Iron Lady" for her uncompromising political stance, Thatcher served longer than any other British prime minister in the 20th
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1990 he became employment and environment minister, a post he continued to hold under Prime Minister John MajorMajor, John,
1943–, British statesman, b. John Major Ball. Raised in a working-class area of London, he was elected to Lambeth borough council (1968–71) and entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1979.
..... Click the link for more information. . Appointed home secretary in 1993, he was known for his tough anticrime stance. After Major resigned as party leader (1997), Howard sought unsuccessfully to succeed him. However, following Iain Duncan SmithDuncan Smith, Iain,
1954–, British political leader, b. Edinburgh. Educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, leaving the army for a series of business positions, mainly in the defense industry and publishing.
..... Click the link for more information. 's loss of the leadership post in 2003, Howard won the position unopposed, becoming the first Jew to lead a major British party (DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st earl of Beaconsfield
, 1804–81, British statesman and author. He is regarded as the founder of the modern Conservative party.
..... Click the link for more information. had been baptized). Howard resigned as party leader following the Conservative loss in the 2005 elections; he was succeeded by David CameronCameron, David William Duncan
, 1966–, British political leader, b. London. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he worked for the Conservative party's research department beginning in 1988, became an adviser to two high-ranking government ministers, and headed corporate
..... Click the link for more information. . He retired from the Commons in 2010 and was created Baron Howard of Lympne. He was among the Tory leaders who supported leaving the European Union in the 2016 referendum.