Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine CH PC (born 21 March 1933) is a British politician and businessman. He was a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 2001 as a member of the Conservative Party.
The Lord Heseltine
Heseltine, photographed in 2013
|Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
20 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Geoffrey Howe (1990)[a]|
|Succeeded by||John Prescott|
He was born in Swansea, Wales and studied at the University of Oxford. He was briefly conscripted into the army, before becoming a self-made millionaire in the 1960s. At the 1966 General Election, Heseltine became the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Tavistock in Devon. From 1970 to 1974, he was a junior minister in the government of Edward Heath. From 1979 to 1983, he was in the cabinet of Margaret Thatcher as Secretary of State for the Environment. He was Defence Secretary from 1983 to 1986, but resigned in 1986 and became a backbencher.
As a backbencher, Heseltine became very critical of Thatcher's government and refused to support the Poll Tax in 1989. In November 1990, Heseltine challenged Thatcher for Conservative Party leadership and this led to Thatcher resigning, but Heseltine did not get to become party leader. New Conservative Prime Minister John Major made Heseltine Secretary of State for the Environment (1990-1992), President of the Board of Trade (1992-1995) and Deputy Prime Minister (1995-1997).
In 2001, Heseltine stood down as an MP and entered the House of Lords. He was considered to be one of Britain's top 200 richest people in 2004, owning a wealth of about £240 million.
- Michael Heseltine, Raising The Sights - A Tory Perspective, in the Primrose League Gazette, vol.91, no.2, Aug/Sept 1987 edition, London.
- Julian Critchley, Heseltine - The Unauthorised Biography, André Deutsch, London, September 1987, ISBN 0-233-98001-6
- Michael Crick, Michael Heseltine: A Biography, Hamish Hamilton, 1997, ISBN 0-241-13691-1
- Michael Heseltine, Life in the Jungle, Hodder & Stoughton, 2000, ISBN 0-340-73915-0, written with the acknowledged assistance of Heseltine's lifelong friend Anthony Howard.