The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) recently confirmed that the Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo will close the morning session on the first day of the All Industry Conference 2013, which takes place in Portugal in June.

Portillo worked for the Conservative Party and for government ministers between 1976 and 1983. He entered the House of Commons in 1984. He was a minister for 11 years and had three positions in the Cabinet, including Secretary of State for Defence.

He lost his seat at the 1997 election and began to develop a career in the media. He returned to the Commons between 2000 and 2005, was Shadow Chancellor, and contested the leadership of the party in 2001.

Since leaving politics, Portillo has devoted himself to writing and broadcasting. He is a regular on both BBC 1’s sardonic political programme “This Week” and Radio 4’s "The Moral Maze”. He has made radio and television documentaries on a wide range of subjects, including five series’ of "Great British Railway Journeys” – and more recently “Great Continental Railway Journeys” – for BBC2. In 2008 he chaired the judges of the Man Booker prize, and chaired the Art Fund prize for museums and galleries in 2011.

John Newcomb, BMF MD, said: “We are absolutely delighted to secure Michael to speak at the conference. As a politician and minister, Michael’s role was to set a policy framework to foster business-friendly conditions for people to create the wealth needed for a prosperous, dynamic economy. Later he moved on from an attempt to become party leader and created success of a completely different kind as one of the country’s most admired broadcasters. His personal demonstration that skills acquired in one arena can be transferred and honed in another to give equal, if not greater, success sits well with this year’s conference theme ‘Fit for the Future’. I’m sure everyone will gain insight and inspiration from Michael’s presentation.”