Howard Mollison is the leader of the Parish Council and the owner of a delicatessen. He is married to Shirley Mollison and is the father of Miles and Patricia Mollison. He had a heart attack seven years before the beginning of the book, but recovered after Vikram Jawanda performed quadruple-bypass surgery on him. He treats Vikram with respect for saving his life, but does not like Vikram's wife, Parminder, a doctor and Parish Council member who was a close friend of Barry Fairbrother. Howard is extremely fat, and is advised by Parminder to lose weight, but he ignores her. She later brings up his weight as in a Council meeting, comparing him to the drug addicts in the Fields for refusing to stop doing something that harms himself at the cost of other people.
He once had an affair with his business partner Maureen Lowe. His daughter Patricia caught them together, and he gave her money to keep quiet about it.