RT Hon Michael Portillo

Politician & Media Personality

Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo is a British journalist, broadcaster, and former Member of Parliament, Deputy Conservative Party leader and Cabinet Minister.

Born in North London in 1953, Michael attended a grammar school, Harrow County, and went to Peterhouse, Cambridge University, where he gained a first class degree in History.

He left Cambridge in 1975, and for a year worked for a shipping company before moving 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, and for the next two years he was special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy.

Michael was first elected to the House of Commons in the Enfield Southgate by-election in 1984. A strong admirer of Thatcher, and a Eurosceptic, he served as a junior minister under both the Iron Lady and John Major, before entering the Cabinet in 1992.

A “darling of the right”, he was seen as a likely challenger to Major during the 1995 Conservative leadership election, but stayed loyal. As Defence Secretary, he pressed for a purist Thatcherite course of “clear blue water”, separating the policies of the Conservatives from Labour.

Michael unexpectedly lost his safe seat at the 1997 general election, which coined the expression “Portillo moment”; political commentators believed he would have been elected Conservative leader had he retained it.

Returning to the Commons after being given the Conservative candidacy in the 1999 by-election in Kensington and Chelsea (an even safer seat), Michael rejoined the front bench as Shadow Chancellor.

Standing for the leadership of the party in 2001, he came a narrow third place behind Iain Duncan Smith and Kenneth Clarke. Portillo retired from the Commons at the 2005 general election, and has since pursued his media interests, presenting a wide range of television and radio programmes.

Michael is extremely versatile due to his extensive career in politics, the corporate world and media. An ideal event or conference host, he will entertain and your guests whilst providing organisational assistance as host.

To book Michael Portillo as an after-dinner or keynote speaker, or as a conference and event host with Champions Motivational Speakers, please fill in our online form or call us on +44 1509 85 29 27 today.

  • Political Speaker
  • World Current Affairs
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Economics Speaker

“I would like to extend a huge thank you to Michael Portillo for his significant contribution to Apogee Corporation’s Action With Vision” Expo at the Four Season’s Hotel in Canary Wharf

“Michael spent the day supporting our Finance in the South West event, mixing with delegates during the break and providing interesting and entertaining presentations when speaking.  The quality and detail of Michael’s presentations reflected the themes running through our day, and added weight to the messages we were putting across to clients and other delegates in the room.  We would happily recommend Michael to other organisations, and look forward to working with him again.” – Lewis Banfield, Partner at Francis Clark LLP


In saying that, I would highly recommend you and Champions too. All your dealings in the process of this booking have been highly professional and extremely helpful to us as we have sought to make a b