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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Howell of Guildford 

In office
14 September 1981 – 11 June 1983
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Norman Fowler
Succeeded by Tom King

In office
4 May 1979 – 14 September 1981
Preceded by Tony Benn
Succeeded by Nigel Lawson

Born 18 January 1936 (1936-01-18) (age 73)
London, UK
Political party Conservative

David Arthur Russell Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford, PC (born 18 January 1936) is a British Conservative politician, journalist, and economic consultant. His daughter Frances is married to the Conservative MP George Osborne.[1]

Howell, who covered Energy and Transport under Margaret Thatcher, is, along with William Hague and Kenneth Clarke, one of the few Cabinet ministers from the 1979-1997 governments to still hold high office in the party, being its deputy leader in the House of Lords.


Early life

Educated at Eton he then served in the 2nd Btn Coldstream Guards between 1954-56 prior to going up to King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1959. He worked in HM Treasury from 1959-60 and then spent five years as a journalist on the Daily Telegraph before he unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Dudley in the 1964 General Election.[2][1]

Member of Parliament

Two years later he won the seat of Guildford in Surrey, a position he retained until retiring at the 1997 General Election.[1]

Howell, a junior minister in the Edward Heath Government (1970-1974), served as the Parliamentary Secretary, and played a key role in the establishment of the Central Policy Review Staff, a "central capability" policy unit based in the Cabinet Office.

When Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979, she made Howell her first Secretary of State for Energy and then moved him to Transport in the reshuffle of September 1981. In 1987 he became chairman of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.[1]

In 1997, he was made a life peer as Baron Howell of Guildford, of Penton Mewsey in the County of Hampshire.[1]


He wrote the book The Edge of Now: new questions for democracy in the network age which was published in 2000.


  1. ^ a b c d e Charles Mosley. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 2 (107 ed.). p. 1989.  
  2. ^ "David Arthur Russell Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford".  

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Nugent
Member of Parliament for Guildford
Succeeded by
Nick St Aubyn
Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Benn
Secretary of State for Energy
Succeeded by
Nigel Lawson
Preceded by
Norman Fowler
Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Tom King


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