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Howard, Michael

Michael Howard, 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 Thatcher. In 1990 he became employment and environment minister, a post he continued to hold under Prime Minister John Major. 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 Smith's loss of the leadership post in 2003, Howard won the position unopposed, becoming the first Jew to lead a major British party (Disraeli had been baptized). Howard resigned as party leader following the Conservative loss in the 2005 elections; he was succeeded by David Cameron. He retired from the Commons in 2010 and was created Baron Howard of Lympne.

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Howard, Michael

Howard, Michael (b. 1941) Conservative leader. Born in Llanelli, of Romanian Jewish parents, Howard was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and became a lawyer. Elected to the House of Commons for Folkstone and Hythe in 1978, he served as Home Secretary in John Major's government from 1993 to 1997. in December 2003 he was the unanimous choice to succeed Iain Duncan Smith as leader of the Conservative party and profited from his legal and political experience. The election of 2005 was vigorous, but Howard resigned immediately after the disappointing result. In March 2006 he declared his intention not to contest Folkstone at the next election.

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