The Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo is a Former Tory MP, Broadcaster and Guest Speaker.
Born in North London, Michael Portillo attended Harrow County Grammar School and went to Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he gained a first class degree in History.
He left Cambridge in 1975, and worked for a shipping company.
He moved to the Conservative Research Department in 1976, where he spent three years.
At the General Election in 1979 he was responsible for briefing Margaret Thatcher before her press conferences. For the next two years he was special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy.
After working for Kerr McGee Oil (UK) Ltd, he contested the Birmingham Perry Bar seat at the 1983 Election.
Michael Portillo returned to politics as a special adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Nigel Lawson) and in December 1984 won the by-election in Enfield Southgate, caused by the murder of Sir Anthony Berry MP in the Brighton bombing. Michael represented the seat for thirteen years but was defeated in the 1997 Election.
He joined the Government in 1986, and remained a member until 1997.
His positions included:
- Parliamentary Under Secretary for Social Security
- Minister of State for Transport
- Minister of State for Local Government and Inner Cities
- Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Privy Council Member
- Secretary of State for Employment
- Secretary of State for Defence
After his 1997 electoral defeat, Portillo returned to Kerr McGee as an adviser.
He returned to the Commons between 2000 and 2005, was shadow Chancellor, and contested the leadership of the party in 2001, unsuccessfully.
Writer & Broadcaster:
Since leaving politics, Michael has devoted himself to writing and broadcasting.
In 2003 he began the weekly political discussion programme This Week on BBC1 with fellow presenters Andrew Neil and Diane Abbott.
In 2004 Michael became a weekly columnist on The Sunday Times.
In 2006 he joined The Moral Maze team on BBC Radio 4.
He has made a number of radio and television documentaries on a wide range of subjects, including:
- Great British Railway Journeys
- Great Continental Railway Journeys
- Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo
- Great American Railroad Journeys
- Wagner and the Spanish Civil War
- Portillo in Euroland
- Portillo Goes Wild in Spain
- Dinner with Portillo
Michael Portillo – Keynote & After-Dinner Speaker:
As a speaker, Michael can deliver entertaining anecdotal after-dinner speeches and keynote speeches.
His keynote topics include:
- Transformational Leadership
- Change Management
- Defence & Security