EX-CABINET minister turned TV presenter Michael Portillo introduced himself as a “former future prime minister” before an audience of Bournemouth’s lawyers.

The former defence secretary was the guest speaker at Bournemouth and District Law Society’s annual president’s lunch.

Mr Portillo, who now presents Great British Railway Journeys on BBC TV, said: “I was at one time a ‘future prime minister’.

“I am now a former future prime minister.

“We’re rather a large number of former future prime ministers in Britain and we’ve formed ourselves into a club of former future prime ministers.

“When I accepted this gig a year ago, I was looking forward to coming here today and being able to tell you that we had just welcomed, as a new member of our club, Mr Boris Johnson.

"But things have a funny way of turning out unexpectedly and I must content myself today with welcoming as a new member just Mr Michael Gove.”

Mr Portillo spoke of the moment he lost his seat in Enfield Southgate on the night of Tony Blair's first landslide election victory.

“In the 1997 general election, in the full glare of national publicity, in front of all the television cameras in the country, I lost my seat in Parliament," he said.

"I lost my ministerial job, I lost my chance of leading the Conservative Party – all gone in one humiliating moment.

“And that humiliating moment was subsequently voted by Guardian readers and Channel 4 viewers their third favourite moment of the 20th century.”

The famous “Portillo moment” had “narrowly beat into fourth position” the assassination of Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceaucescu, he said.

The lunch at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Ballroom was the big event of the year for the district society’s president, Mark Kiteley, of Rawlins Davey Solicitors in Bournemouth.

Mr Kiteley said: “We are an active society and we are a vibrant community and we know from the comments of our guests, visiting speakers and others that we have something rather special.”

He said the area’s lawyers had in common “our professionalism, our ethics and a shared view that legal services are best offered by lawyers, not unregulated advisers and certainly not by Google”.

He added: “The wider world agrees and last year’s YouGov survey reported that nine out of 10 people that instructed a solicitor were satisfied with the outcome.”

He added: “Delivering those outcomes has a human cost and we know from our wellbeing survey that our members can and do suffer from negative stress.

"I believe the society is well placed to offer additional support whether it be way of training, mentoring, signposting or even just creating opportunities for members to get together and talk.”