FORMER Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine is to be the principal guest and main speaker at this year’s Cutlers’ Feast.
The self-made millionaire is currently in charge of the independent panel that advises coalition government ministers on grants to be made from the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.
A total of 15 projects in the Sheffield City Region are being supported by the fund, which was set up to help to create private sector jobs in regions that have been reliant on the public sector as a major employer.
Lord Heseltine is best known for his role in dealing with the aftermath of the Brixton and Toxteth riots during the early 1980s and triggering the resignation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by standing against her in a party leadership election.
He famously gained the nickname ‘Tarzan’ after picking up the Mace of the House of Commons in 1976 and brandishing it at Labour left-wingers who were singing the Red Flag in celebration of the nationalisation of the shipbuilding and aerospace industries.
Lore Heseltine is a former President of the Oxford Union who built up a property business and the Haymarket publishing and exhibitions group before being elected to Parliament in 1966. He entered the Cabinet in 1979 as Secretary of State for the Environment, and was Secretary of State for Defence from 1983 to 1986, when he resigned because of differences over government support for helicopter manufacturer Westland.
He was Secretary of State for the Environment and Trade and Industry in John Major’s government before becoming Deputy Prime Minister in 1995 and left the House of Commons in 2001, when he became Baron Heseltine, of Thenford.
The 376th Cutlers’ Feast takes place in the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield in mid-May.