Politician. The son of Rumanian immigrants of Jewish faith (surname: Hecht), Howard was educated at Llanelli grammar school and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He began a legal career but entered Parliament for Folkestone in 1983. After junior office, he became Minister of State, Department of Environment (1987–90), Secretary of State for Employment (1990–2), for the Environment (1992–3), and for the Home Department (1993–7). In Opposition he was shadow Foreign Secretary (2001–3). His reputation was then as a right‐wing Tory and a Eurosceptic. His powerful performances in the House of Commons made him an unopposed choice to succeed Iain Duncan Smith as leader of the Conservative Party in October 2003. His party gained seats at the general election of 2005 but did not threaten the Labour majority and Howard resigned the leadership at once.
Subjects: British History.