Who is Michael Portillo?

Who is Michael Portillo?
Who is Michael Portillo?

📩 04/01/2023 09:06

Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo (born May 1953, 26) is an English journalist, publisher and former Conservative politician. He was first elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in 1984. Powerful admirer Margaret Thatcher and Eurosceptic had served as junior minister under both Portillo Thatcher and John Major, before entering a "1992 cabinet right", while he was a likely rival of Major. It was seen in the 1995 Conservative leadership election, but remained steadfast. As Secretary of Defense, the "deep blue water" course of the Labor Party that separates the Conservative policies from the Thatcherite ones pressed for that pure race.

Portillo secured an unexpected hitherto lost Conservative seat at Enfield Southgate in the 1997 general election. This led to the printing of the phrase "Portillo moment". As a result of the Conservative nomination of the Commons in the midterm election Kensington and Chelsea returned to the front bench in 1999, Portillo returned to the Shadow Chancellor, although his relationship with the Conservative Leader William Hague was strained. Standing for the party's leadership in 2001, he finally came in third place behind Iain Duncan Smith and Kenneth Clarke.

Portillo also watched his media interests from the House of Commons and since he retired from active politics, presenting in the 2005 general elections and participating in a wide range of television and radio programs. Portillo's passion for the steam train led him to make the BBC documentary series Railway Journeys of Great Britain beginning in 1840, in which he moved to the British rail networks, referring to an 2010's Bradshaw's Guide. The success of the show led Portillo to offer a more serial team about rail systems in other countries.

Portillo was born in Bushey, to a exiled Spanish republican father Luis Gabriel Portillo (1907-1993) and a Scottish mother, (Cora Waldegrave née Blyth) (1919-2014). Portillo's father was a devout Catholic, a member of the left-wing movements in the 1930s, and fled Madrid when he captured General Franco in 1939, settling in England. Kirkcaldy was a prosperous flax mill owner from 1972. Portillo's grandfather John Blyth became head of the London Diplomatic Office of the Government of Exile.

Portillo was registered as a Spanish citizen at the age of 4, and in accordance with Spanish naming customs, her Spanish passport with names such as Miguel Portillo y Blyth.

In 1961, Portillo appeared in a television commercial for Ribena, a currant cordial drink. He was educated at Stanburn Elementary School in Stanmore, Greater London, and Boys Harrow County School and later won a scholarship in Peterhouse, Cambridge. Labor Party throughout Portillo's cause support at school; he attributed his embrace of Cambridge conservatism to the influence of the right-wing Peterhouse historian Maurice Cowling. In 1999, Portillo gave an interview in which he discussed the homosexual relationships he had while in college.

On February 12, 1982, Portillo married Carolyn Claire EADIE.

Political career (1984-2005)

Portillo graduated in 1975 with a first-class degree in history and, after working briefly with the first class, Ocean Transport and Trade Ltd. After his conservative victory in 1976, he became a government adviser to David Howell at the Department of Energy. Between 1979 and 1981, he fought his first election competition, in the 1983 general election of Oil at the seat he held Labor, while he was left-handed Kerr-McGee from Birmingham Perry Barr, who was defeated by incumbent Jeff Rooker.


Portillo returned to his business of consulting for the government, and in December 1984, he stopped for him and won a by-election at Enfield Southgate, following the murder of his incumbent Sir Anthony Berry, in the Grand Hotel, Brighton by the bombing of the IRA. Initially, he was originally John Moore and then assistant whip for Parliamentary Secretary.

In government

In 1987, Portillo was awarded the first ministry, as the post of Parliamentary Undersecretary for Social Security; The following year, he was promoted to Minister of State for Transport. Portillo has stated that he saw as the savior of the "Carlisle Railroad Settle" was his greatest success. He was a strong supporter of Margaret Thatcher.

In 1990, Portillo was appointed as the State Secretary for Local Government, after claiming in favor of which he was ultimately disliked, the Community Charge (popularly known as the "Survey Tax") system. He consistently demonstrated the right center-line (exemplified by his insistence, well in public speaking, on placing “light blue water” between the policies of conservatives and other parties) and was favored by Norman Tebbit and Margaret Thatcher who “[W] e do not disappoint us, we expect a lot from you ”. Continuing under his rise, John Major; He was made a Cabinet Minister in 1992 and was admitted to the Treasury General Secretary and the Advisory Council that same year. He later became Secretary of State for Employment (1994-1995) and then Secretary of State for Defense (1995-1997).

As Secretary of Defense, Portillo became the object of criticism when he was called the slogan of SAS, “Who Dare to Win,” in his speech at the 1995 Conservative Party annual meeting.

The media, including its high profile, has constantly led to its attention as Private Eye mocks the pass as "portaloo". She was charged with makeup when Alexandra Palace was hired to celebrate her decade in politics.

Some saw Major Portillo's cautious loyalty award as a post-1995 leadership challenge to the Defense Secretary John Redwood after the Major's resignation as party leader “I can fire me or me”. To contest against many Major, Portillo called for "right, darling." Difficulty planned Major if he went to the second round of the competition, while avoiding making it enter the first round. To this end, he set up a potential campaign center, with banks of phone lines. Portillo later acknowledged that it was a mistake: "I did not want to counter [Major], but neither did I want to close the possibility of entering a second vote, if it comes to that point." accepting dissidents within the party whose speeches were used; “I came out happy but afraid of the wound to hit. Dishonored position "

1997 election defeat

Portillo's loss of the seat of Enfield Southgate shocked many politicians and commentators, Stephen Twigg, for Labor in the 1997 general election, and came to symbolize the scope of Labor's overwhelming victory. With the half-way campaign, Portillo invited aides Andrew Cooper to his home after Michael Simmonds and the expected Conservative defeat presented some ideas for the leadership campaign and asked them to end it. However, a survey of the Observer showed that the weekend before the election Portillo held only three points ahead of his hitherto- safe seat, Portillo asked Cooper, who oversaw this party's internal poll, to reassure him that it was wrong; Cooper could not and Portillo began to think about what he might lose.

He had a memorable conversation with Jeremy Paxman on election night, summoned in his seat before the conclusion. Paxman was interviewed with the question, "So Michael are going to miss the limo?" - Conservatives will have an appeal in anticipation that defeat was sent, and thus no longer a Minister. "We see the end of the Conservative Party as a reliable force in British politics?" It was asked. Since then he informed that before the interview, he had come to believe he had already lost his seat:

I saw that the exit survey had estimated the majority of 160 seats for the study. "Have I lost my place on the way to ask me Paxman?" I thought, I had it because it could be removed. Then the Elector drove and I knew I was lost. But I've also seen David Mellor. We had this really malignant fight with David Mellor, Jimmy Goldsmith [after Putney's election results had been announced]. I saw this and thought if there was anything to do when I lost, I could muster and lose dignity as this David Mellor-Goldsmith thing can't be like.

Portillo's defeat represented a 17.4% swing for the study. Symbolizing the loss from the election by the Conservative Party he has been referred to as "Portillo moment" and in the stereotype "Was it you for Portillo?" (ie "did you see Portillo's conclusion announced on TV / were you awake?") Portillo himself commented thirteen years later, as a result of this "My name is now publicly synonymous with eating shit bucketload."

Return to the Assembly

After the election, Portillo Kerr-McGee undertook significant media work, also including programs on BBC and Channel 4, revamping his supplement. “He had some homosexual experience as a young person,” Portillo told the Times in the interview in the summer of 1999. A few weeks after that meeting had given him death, Alan Clark gave Portillo the opportunity to return to Parliament, despite Lord Tebbit accusing Portillo of lying about the extent of sexual "deviance" from his associate, and similar comments included a Portillo profile in the Guardian newspaper. It comfortably won the election to be held in late November 1999 to represent Kensington and Chelsea, traditional one of the safest Conservative seats.

On 2000 February 1, William Hague promoted Portillo with Shadow Cabinet as Deputy Leader Shadow Chancellor. On 3 February, Portillo stood opposite Chancellor of Exchequer, Gordon Brown, in the House of Commons for the first time in his new post. During this session, Portillo announced that the future Conservative government would increase its independence to increase its accountability to the Bank of England and Parliament and would not withdraw the national minimum wage.

2001 leadership election

In the following 2001 general elections, Portillo challenged the leadership of the party. In the first round of voting by conservative lawmakers, he led the way well. However, press stories, including references to previous gay experiences and his quibble at the time of the Major's 1995 resignation, followed there. He was knocked out in the final round of voting by Conservative lawmakers, sexual history - according to Kenneth Clarke - having damaged the chances of leaving party members to make a choice between Iain Duncan Smith and Kenneth Clarke.

Retirement from Politics

Portillo turned backbenches when Duncan Smith was elected president. In March 2003 voted in favor of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In November 2003, Michael Howard, who had turned down a proposal of a Shadow Cabinet post from the incoming Conservative leader, did not run again in the 2005 general election. Since His membership in the Conservative Party has passed.

Talk to Andrew Neil on This Week in May 2016, he gave his views on the effectiveness of David Cameron's government and his legislative plans as described in the Queen's speech; I want to make a statement in power "after 23 years of thought… the answer to passers-by is nothing else" The Guardian described it as "elegant".

While Portillo has supported Brexit, the Parliament has expressed the view that the British system is dominated by 2016 Brexit referendum and the result "parliament has the right to interpret" "absolutely does not fit with our system". In a 2016 television debate he told David Cameron, "[Nigel] Farage deserves to stay in history because of the catastrophe he has committed," "he feared the Prime Minister if the referendum was held after he lost." He also denounced Theresa May 2018 'the most terrible betrayal of' exit negotiations as the Checkers Plan, and if I were a Cabinet member, I would have been one of those who would have to go out over the weekend. ' On another occasion, Portillo cried out as a pundit (This Week) "Short miss May could not have produced a more humiliating surrender, de Compiègne forest into a railroad car walking."

Business world

In September 2002, Portillo became a non-manager international defense contractor BAE Systems. He resigned from this position in March 2006, due to potential conflicts of interest. He was a board member of Kerr-McGee Corporation for a few months in 2006.


1998 saw Portillo make the first step into broadcasting on Channel 4 - Portillo's Progress with Channel 60 - in three 2002-minute long programs, looking at the changed social and political scene in the UK. Since XNUMX, Portillo has developed an active career in the media, both as a commentator on public affairs and as a writer and / or presenter for television and radio documentaries.

Between its inception and cancellation in 2019 in 2003, Portillo appeared on the BBC weekly political debate program This Week with Andrew Neil, Labor MP and Diane Abbott up in September 2010.

Portillo has been featured in a number of television documentaries. From 2002 to Salamanca to Granada: Richard Wagner: One of the Great Railroad Journeys in Spain and one: Richard Wagner in 2002 (2006). In 2003, BBC Two made a program about the Spanish wild in the Natural World series. For an episode of the XNUMX BBC Two series My Week In The Real World, in which politicians went into the shoes of members of the public, Portillo for a week, a single mother living income about life, family and benefits, took over Wallasey.

She chose to present Queen Elizabeth I for the BBC's series The Great Brits in 2002.Between 2007 and 2002, she presented a discussion series called Portillo on the BBC Four on dinner with four kinds, in which political and social questions were discovered by Portillo and her seven guests eat. His guests included Bianca Jagger, Grayson Perry, Francis wheen, Seymour Hersh, PD James, Baroness Williams, George Galloway, Benazir Bhutto and Germaine Greer. Verdict participating in the BBC television project in 2007 served, with other well-known figures, as a jury member on a fictional rape trial. He was chosen as the jury foreman.

In the documentary How to Kill a Human Being for the Horizon series, Portillo featured conducting a survey of death penalty methods (including undertaking some near death experiences himself) in order to find an 'acceptable' form of death penalty. This was January 2008. He made the second 15th BBC Two documentary titled Horizon, which was released on How Are Violence? Published on May 12, 2009.

In 2008, Portillo made a documentary as part of the BBC's Headgap campaign exploring mental health issues. Portillo's documentary Michael Portillo: School Friend Death Portillo's classmate Gary Findon explores how suicide affected Findon family, his brother, music teachers, teachers, classmates and Portillo himself. The program actually aired on November 7, 2008.

In 2009, he filmed a series titled Railroad Journeys of Great Britain, in which he explored, with the help of George Bradshaw's 1863 tourist handbook, how railways had a profound impact on the social, economic and political history of England. The series started broadcasting in January 2010. The second series aired on BBC Two in 2011, and as of February 2019, there have been a total of ten series. Portillo also presented in a similar television series called The Great Continental Railroad Journeys, which followed continental Europe around Portillo using his 1913 Continental Rail Guide.

The second series was published in 2013 and has had a total of six series to date. As part of the BBC's World War II celebrations in 2014, Portillo presented Michael Portillo's Railways of the Great War, over five nights in August 2016.In early 2014, Portillo began a new BBC travel documentary series, The Great American Railway Journeys, which saw him by rail in the United States traveling between. Other similar series followed: Great Indian Railway Journeys from 2018, and the Great Alaska and Canada Rail Journeys 2019 series began airing in January, Great Australian Railway Journeys began airing on BBC2 in Australia on 26 October 2019 with six journeys across. The series was followed by The Great Asian Railway Journeys 2020 on January 27.

The ten-episode BBC Two series, Portillo's State Secrets, in which Portillo investigates Confidential documents from the British National Archives began on 23 March 2015.

The Enemy Files, the documentary presented by Portillo, was shown on RTÉ One in Ireland for the centenary, as well as the BBC Rising in Easter 2016.

A 5 Channel series, Portillo's Secret History of England, aired in 2018.

Press and radio

Portillo regularly writes columns for The Sunday Times, contributes to other magazines (he was a theater critic for the New Statesman until May 2006) and is a regular radio broadcaster on UK radio. A longtime member of the panel in the BBC Radio 4 series Morality Labyrinth. In September 2011, she was presented to a two-part series called BBC Radio 4 Ten Trial on Capitalism. He has also presented the BBC Radio 4 story series called Things We Forgot to Remember.

In June 2013, he presented a series of twelve 15-minute radio programs followed daily (one in the BBC Radio news program called World 4th) Years Ago - about Britain's situation in the previous years of World War II, challenging the view that World War was in those years, and was cheerful.

Volunteer work

Since 1998, Portillo has been a Commissioner of the International Commission on Disappearances (ICMP). He is a British charity study on behalf of President Debra and his people epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic blistering condition.

Portillo chaired the 2008 Man Booker Prize committee.

In 2011, Portillo became the head of a new arts donation fund supported by the Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sports. Applicants could bid for £ 500.000m, grants from the matched private sector, which had to be between £ 5. The fund, operated under the title “Catalyst: Foundations”, made 36 awards over two years 2012-13 for a total of £ 31 million. Buyers include the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Mary Rose Trust, Lincoln Cathedral, and Severn Valley Railway.

Portillo, the British head of the Anglo-Spanish organization, tertulias organizes annual meetings between the two countries. He is also an Honorary President of Canning House, Hispanic, and the Brazilian Council of Luso.

Portillo has a strong interest in contemporary visual arts and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the British Artists Federation, educational arts charity.

In 2018, he accepted the role as President of the Friends of the Line of Settle-Carlisle following the death of his previous incumbent, Sir William McAlpine.


  • Michael Portillo was sworn in as a member of the British Advisory Council in 1992, giving him the glorifying title “Very Honorable”.
  • He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the American University in Richmond, London in 2003.
  • In 2018, Portillo was made a fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (FRSGS).
  • It is named after Freedom of London City. It was awarded in honor of the annual Sheep Drive leader on London Bridge on 29 September 2019.


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