About George

George Freeman Profile - CLICK HERE

George Freeman MP

Elected to Parliament in 2010 after a 15 year career in the Cambridge cluster founding high-growth technology companies, George has served in the last three Governments as UK Trade Envoy, the first UK Minister for Life Science, Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board and Minister of State for Decarbonisation, Disconnection & Digitalisation at the Department for Transport.

He is currently leading the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR). 

As Founder of the 2020 Conservatives Group of MPs, author of Britain Beyond Brexit and Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum, Freeman is a leading Conservative voice for a New Generation of Conservative Reform, Regeneration and Renewal after the divisions of Brexit and the Covid recession.

A long-standing localist committed to bold decentralisation as core to unlocking the UK as a Innovation Nation, Freeman has written, spoken and worked around the country through the Big Tent Festival and Foundation to promote new approaches to decentralised growth, levelling up and regeneration.

 

Early Life

Freeman has written about how his politics has been shaped by his early life experience of a broken home and family turmoil. Born to jump jockey Arthur Freeman and debutante Joanna Philipson in 1967, his parents divorced soon after he was born and he had no contact with his father until he reached adulthood, growing up as a ward of court.  A campaigner for NACOA and child stammerers, Freeman has spoken powerfully about how his experiences as a child career of his then alcoholic mother with an absent father shaped his core Conservative values of the  responsibility of privilege. On the 60th anniversary of his father’s Grand National win in 1958, he founded The Bridge of Hope project to help people who have suffered a life collapse have a chance of a job in racing.  In 2009 he bought back at auction the trophy his father received as winner of the 1958 Grand National.

He counts 19th-century Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone as his great-great-great-uncle, and his great aunt was Mabel Philipson, the first British Conservative woman in Parliament after the American Nancy Astor. 

Educated at Radley College, Oxford and Girton College, Cambridge, he graduated in 1989. 

Before and after Cambridge, Freeman traveled extensively in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, including a 3,000 mile hitch hike from Northern Kenya to Cape Town.

 

Professional Career

After leaving university, Freeman worked in Westminster as a Parliamentary Adviser at the National Farmers’ Union and as founding Secretary of the Rural Economy Group of Parliamentarians.

An early Conservative localist, in 1992 he founded the Local Identity Agency and worked around the UK with local councils campaigning for greater decentralisation, including a project on rural regeneration in County Durham.

In 1996 he sold the LIA to Polecon Europe LTD and returned to the burgeoning Cambridge tech cluster where he began a 15 year career founding and financing high-growth biomedical start-ups:

Managing Director, Transmo Citycard (1996-1997)

Director of Early Stage Ventures, Merlin Biosciences (1997-2001)

CEO, Amedis Pharma (2001-2003)

Founder & MD, 4D Biomedical (2003-2010). He worked around the UK putting together translational medical research collaborations with UK Universities, Hopsitals and Life Science Companies. 

 

Political career

In 2003 Freeman founded Mind The Gap: a campaign for civic renewal.

In 2005 Freeman fought the then Labour stronghold of Stevenage with an innovative campaign “Positive Politics”.

The first Candidate to be selected via David Cameron’s A list, George was elected in the 2010 general election as MP for Mid Norfolk.

 

In Government

2021:         Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR)

2019-20:    Minister of State, (Minister for the Future of Transport), Department for Transport

2016-19:    Chair, Conservative Policy Forum

2016-17:    Chair, Prime Minister’s Policy Board

2014-16:    UK Minister for Life Science

2013-14:    UK Trade Envoy

2011-14:    Government Life Science Adviser

2010:          PPS to the Minister for Climate Change

 

Personal life

Freeman was married to Eleanor from 1996 to 2016 and has two children. They separated in 2014 citing the pressures of juggling a young family, two careers and living apart.

In 2020 Freeman married childhood friend and RSC theatre director Fiona Laird.

 

 

Big Tent Ideas Festival

Politics is undergoing a tectonic shift. That’s why I launched the Big Tent Ideas Festival, aiming to tackle the most difficult policy challenges we face. The Festival has now run for two years. This year we hosted our first-ever Leaders’ Summit and brought nearly 2,000 people together for the main Festival across fifty events and eight different tents, discussing ideas to reform our politics, our economy and our society.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival is part of the Capital Ideas Foundation, founded by a group of entrepreneurs to campaign for renewal in the radical centre-ground. Over the next year, we will be setting off round the country as the forum for the best new ideas in public policy. Click below and join us.

Read more:

Big Tent Ideas website

THE CASE FOR EFTA

We are in the middle of a Brexit civil war. What is clear is that the existing options will not unite our country.

Chequers has been dismissed by Brussels and is roundly rejected by the ERG. The Canada option was also not designed for the circumstances we currently face. We are a European nation already heavily reliant on the single market - wanting ideally to retain access to the single market without being in the 'political' union.

That’s why I believe ongoing membership of the European Free Trade Association is now the obvious route. It would give us off-the-shelf access to the single market, allow us to take back control of our fishing and farming industries, control free movement and let us negotiate our own trade deals.

Unless we stand up and fight for a sensible moderate Brexit, we risk enduring a #HardBrexit. There is an alternative that we can embrace now. It is time to embrace EFTA.

Publications

The industrial strategy reforms I led helped to deliver Britain’s vaccine success. Now for the next phase. by George Freeman MP | ConservativeHome

Fresh Start Report

The EU impact on the UK Life Science sector by George Freeman MP and Pawel Swidlicki

The Innovation Economy

Industrial Policy for the 21st Century, by George Freeman and Kwasi Kwarteng

Progress for Oxford-Cambridge Arc as government announces preferred East West Rail central section

Announcing the preferred route, route E, for the Bedford to Cambridge section of the East West Rail line.
30 January 2020

Funding for on-street chargepoints doubled to help charge up electric vehicle revolution

Residential street chargepoint funding doubled and plans increasing access to real-time information released.
21 January 2020

Electric taxis to go wireless thanks to new charging tech trial

Wireless charging for electric taxis to start in Nottingham.
17 January 2020

First of a Kind 2020 launches to find this century’s Brunel

Department for Transport and Innovate UK launch competition to drive innovation on the railways.
13 January 2020