A portrait of the Rt Hon Michael Howard MP, painted by Richard Stone and commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art joins the contemporary hang in Portcullis House from 11 June 2009.
The Rt Hon Michael Howard MP (b.1941) and was educated at Llanelli Grammar School he later read law at Peterhouse, Cambridge and following a successful career at the Bar became a QC in 1982. His Parliamentary career began in 1983 as Member for Folkestone and Hythe. Howard rose through the ranks to become Employment, then Environment Secretary and finally Home Secretary under John Major premiership. He introduced both the poll tax and its replacement, the council tax. Following John Major's resignation in 1997 he campaigned for leadership but was unsuccessful. He served as Shadow Foreign Secretary for two years standing down in 1999. In 2001 he returned as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer until 2003 when he became Leader of the Conservative Party until 2005. In March 2006 he announced that he would be retiring at the next general election after more than a quarter of a century in Parliament.
The artist - Richard Stone (b.1951)
From an early age Richard Stone was encouraged to paint by a neighbour, amateur Essex artist Frederick Heron. In 1965 he met the artist Sir Gerald Kelly who was a huge inspiration and became his tutor. At the age of 22 Stone became Britain's youngest royal portrait artist since Sir Thomas Lawrence painted Queen Charlotte in 1790. One of Stone's earliest subjects was Sir Arthur Bliss, the Master of the Queen's Musick and commissions since have included Baroness Thatcher, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many members of the Royal family including H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.M. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.