Michael Portillo was a minister for eleven years and held three positions in the Cabinet, including Secretary of State for Defence.
He worked for the Conservative Party and for government ministers between 1976 and 1983. He entered the House of Commons in 1984.
He lost his seat at the 1997 election, and began to develop a career in the media. He returned to the Commons between 2000 and 2005, was Shadow Chancellor, and contested the leadership of the party in 2001, unsuccessfully.
Since leaving politics, he has devoted himself to writing and broadcasting. He writes for the Sunday Times and is a regular on both BBC 1’s “This Week” programme and Radio 4’s “Moral Maze”. He has made documentaries on subjects as diverse as Richard Wagner and the death penalty. In 2008 he chaired the judges of the Man Booker prize.
He attended Harrow County grammar school and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history.