Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Former Minister for International Security Strategy at the Ministry of Defence
In 1982 Sir Gerald was elected a Councillor for Chiswick in the London Borough of Hounslow.
In 1983 he was elected Member of Parliament for the former coal-mining constituency of Cannock and Burntwood, Staffordshire, Labour’s 50th most marginal seat which he held until 1992, becoming the only Conservative to hold Cannock for 2 terms.
Sir Gerald was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Michael Spicer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy (1987-90), then Minister of State of the Department of the Environment (1990-91). From December 1991 to April 1992 Sir Gerald served as PPS to Margaret Thatcher.
Between 1983 and 1992 he was an officer of the Conservative Parliamentary Aviation Committee, and was a Founder Member of the No Turning Back Group.
In 1993, a year after losing his seat in Staffordshire, Sir Gerald was selected as the Conservative candidate for Aldershot where he succeeded Sir Julian Critchley in 1997. Since then, he has served on the Home Affairs Select Committee (1997-2001) and as Vice-Chairman of the Defence Select Committee (2001-03). For a while he was a member of the Executive of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers.
Between 2002 and 2010 he served as a Shadow Defence Minister with responsibility for defence procurement and the Royal Air Force. Following the 2010 General Election, from May 2010 to September 2012, he served as Minister for International Security Strategy at the Ministry of Defence, responsible for the EU, defence diplomacy and defence exports.