After gaining a first in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, Michael Portillo worked for a shipping company before joining the Conservative Research Department in 1976. In 1984 he was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate. He was an MP for nearly 20 years and held three ministerial positions in the cabinet: Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Employment and Secretary of State for Defence.
Since retiring from active politics in 2005, Michael has pursued a successful media career. He is a regular guest on BBC1’s weekly political discussion programme This Week, and has made documentaries on a range of subjects, including BBC2’s Great British Railway Journeys, the accompanying book of which has sold over 41,000 copies.