Michael Portillo rose up the ranks of the Conservative party, representing his constituency for 13 years until his defeat in 1997. As a Cabinet Minister he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Employment and Secretary of State for Defence.
Portillo went on to make a name in journalism. In addition to many articles and book reviews he made ‘Portillo’s Progress’ (Channel 4, 1998), a three part series about politics, a programme in the Great Railway Series (BBC, 1999), which was partly a biography of his late father. Re-elected to Parliament in 1999 Michael Portillo is MP for Kensington and Chelsea. As well as having a weekly column in The Scotsman, he has made television films about Wagner and Queen Elizabeth I and is chairman of a chamber orchestra, Sinfonia 21, which is involved in pioneering work at the frontiers of music and science. Michael Portillo is a member of the International Commission on Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia, which organises the identification of massacre victims.