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Esperanza Aguirre Gil de Biedma

President of the Partido Popular (Popular Party) of Madrid

Esperanza Aguirre is President of the Partido Popular (Popular Party) of Madrid.

In 1983 she served in her first public post at the City Council of Madrid, taking charge of the City Council’s Environment Department and Culture Department before being appointed Deputy Mayor and Spokesperson for the City Council. She was elected as a Senator of Madrid in 1996.

Two months later, Prime Minister José María Aznar appointed Esperanza Head of the Ministry of Education and Culture in the first Government of the Partido Popular. She left in January 1999 to become the first woman to preside over the Spanish Senate.  In March 2000, she was re-elected to the Upper House.

Esperanza was President of the Senate until October 2002, when she left to contest the Regional Elections in 2003. She became the first elected woman president of a Regional Government in Spain.

In 2003 she was appointed Honorary DBE, in recognition of her dedication to strengthen the links between the UK and Spain.

Esperanza Aguirre will take part in the panel discussion “Has the West gone soft? 25 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall” in the Great Hall, at 11.10.