Charity No: 1075109

Sir Gerald Howarth


Sir Gerald Howarth was born in September 1947. He was educated at Haileybury and ISC Junior School, Windsor, and Bloxham School, Banbury (scholar). He read English at the University of Southampton (BA Hons) where he served with the University Air Squadron and was commissioned into the RAFVR in 1968.

After university he became General Secretary of the Society for Individual Freedom but in 1971 he began a career in international banking. He worked for Bank of America International Ltd (1971-1977), European Arab Bank (1977-81) and in 1981 he was appointed Manager, Loan Syndications at Standard Chartered Bank, responsible for arranging major international loans.

In 1982 Gerald was elected a Councillor for Chiswick in the London Borough of Hounslow and served as Shadow Vice-Chairman of the Environmental Planning Committee. 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 two terms.

Gerald's first official appointment was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Spicer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy (1987-90), then Minister of State for the Department of the Environment (1990-91). Gerald then became PPS to Margaret Thatcher from December 1991 to April 1992. 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, Gerald was selected as the 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.

Since 2002 he has served as a Shadow Defence Minister with responsibility for defence procurement and the Royal Air Force. In addition to his frontbench duties Gerald is also Convenor (Chairman) of the all party RAF Group, an officer of the Parliamentary Aerospace Group, has served as Chairman of the 92 Group of Conservative MPs, and is an active member of the all-party Kashmir group.

Gerald is also a regular contributor to the all-party Photography group's annual exhibition. He is President of the Air Display Association (which represents those who organise and participate in air shows around the UK and Europe) and in 2006 became a trustee of the Vulcan To the Sky project which has restored to flying condition a Vulcan bomber. Apart from defence, he takes a keen interest in home affairs issues, family issues, the media and industry.

Gerald has been married to Elizabeth since 1973 and they have children. In his spare time he enjoys flying (he has held a pilot's licence since 1965), photography and fishing, and is a church warden at the Royal Garrison Church in Aldershot. He also does the occasional DIY.

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