Michael Portillo, former Conservative cabinet minister and one-time contestant for the Conservative Party leadership, is to speak at the AIRMIC annual dinner on 6 December. The second speaker is finan

Michael Portillo was born in North London in 1953. His father, Luis, had come to Britain as a refugee at the end of the Spanish Civil War, and his mother, Cora, was brought up in Fife. She met Luis while she was an undergraduate at Oxford. Having been a Conservative party researcher and then adviser to various ministers, Portillo was first elected to Parliament in 1984 and remained an MP until defeat in the 1997 general election.

During his time in government, Portillo served as a whip, Minister of State for Transport, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Employment, and Secretary of State for Defence, among other positions. After his 1997 defeat, he returned to business and turned to journalism. He was re-elected to Parliament in a by-election in Kensington and Chelsea in November 1999. He was unsuccessful in his bid to become leader of the Conservative party, and in 2005, left the House of Commons. Today, he works mainly as a writer and broadcaster.

Writer, broadcaster and lecturer, Anthony Hilton will be the second speaker at the dinner. He started as a trainee on The Guardian in 1968. He has worked on the Times, the Sunday Times, the Observer, Daily Mail and Sunday Express. Today, he is a regular financial commentator for the London Evening Standard. He is the author of How to communicate financial information to employees, and City within a State - a study of how the city of London really works.