About George

George Freeman Profile - CLICK HERE

Career

  • George Freeman was first elected to Parliament in May 2010. He was re-elected in 2015 with an increased majority of 17,000 and again in the 2017 General Election.
  • George has served as a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, PPS to the Minister for Energy, Government Advisor on Life Sciences, UK Trade Envoy and Minister for Life Sciences at the Department of Health and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. From 2016-17 he served as Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board. He currently serves as Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) and founder of the Capital Ideas Foundation (CIF) and Big Tent Ideas Festival.
  • George is co-founder of the Fresh Start Group and founder of Mind the Gap, Positive Politics!, the Norfolk Way and It Starts Here.
  • George studied at the University of Cambridge before working for the National Farmers’ Union, founding the UK's first localist think tank, the Local Identity Agency, and then moving into the private sector as a technology entrepreneur.

 

Family background

  • George is the great great great nephew of William Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister, and his Great Aunt was Mabel Philipson who was one of the first female MPs elected to Parliament.
  • George’s father was Arthur Freeman who was jockey for the Queen Mother and won the Grand National in 1958. On the fiftieth anniversary of his father's win in 2018, George launched a major new project, Bridge of Hope, in memory of his father to help those who've suffered a fall in life to find employment and get a second chance.
  • George is divorced and has two children.

 

Political campaigner

  • Local Identity Agency (1992-1997): George set up the UK’s first localism think tank, campaigning for a renewal of civic society and also co-founded Businesswise Limited, the London-based enterprise training and curriculum development centre, and the scheme Learn to Earn.
  • Mind the Gap (2003-2005): George founded the non-partisan group 'Mind the Gap!' to explore the causes of people's disillusionment with mainstream politics.
  • Positive Politics! (2005 General Election): Having founded 'Positive Politics!' in 2004 George stood on that ticket in Stevenage in 2005 and nearly delivered the shock result of the night with a massive swing to nearly unseat the Labour incumbent Barbara Follett.  At that year's Conference George was invited by the Party's Candidates Department to present his proposals for reforming the way Candidates campaign. Watch the launch video here. 

  • The Norfolk Way (2007-present): George founded The Norfolk Way in 2007 as an independent campaign organisation to act as a catalyst for positive, sustainable and entrepreneurial change in rural Norfolk.
  • It Starts Here (2010 General Election): George ran for the seat of Mid Norfolk with the campaign ‘It Starts Here’, combining a fresh and positive approach to politics based on grassroots action.
  • It Started Here (2015 and 2017 General Elections): Following five years as MP for Mid Norfolk, George launched the campaign ‘It Started Here’ in 2015 and again in 2017, campaigning on planning, housing and infrastructure, supporting our NHS, care and mental health services, and better schools and skills training for all.
  • Big Tent Ideas Festival (2017-present): Following the General Election result, George launched a new campaign called The Capital Ideas Foundation, a not-for-profit pro-enterprise movement, and the first-ever Big Tent Ideas Festival to champion Political Renewal in the radical centre. Following a hugely successful launch in 2017, the Big Tent Ideas Festival is returning ten times bigger and with more tents and speakers in 2018. The Festival will be held from Friday 7th September to Saturday 8th September at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge.

Technology entrepreneur

  • Having founded the Local Identity Agency in the early nineties, George moved into the private sector, working as Director and General Manager of Transmo Citycard, Director of Early Stage Ventures at Merlin Biosciences and interim CEO of Amedis Pharmaceuticals.
  • In 2002, George became a founding partner of 4D Biomedical, a specialist biomedical technology financing advisory business.

 

Political career

  • 2010: George was elected to Parliament for the first time in 2010 for the new seat of Mid Norfolk. After serving on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, he was appointed PPS to the Minister of State for Energy.
  • 2011-2013: George was appointed as Government Adviser on Life Sciences to the Minister of State for Universities and Science. In this role, he helped co-ordinate and launch the UK's first ever Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy.
  • 2014-2016: George was appointed as the first ever UK Minister for Life Sciences at the Department of Health (DH) and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in charge of the £18bn NHS drugs budget, digital health and data, the Life Sciences and Agri-Tech Industrial Strategies, genomics, industry engagement and NHS R&D. In this role, he launched the landmark Accelerated Access Review and the Graphene Institute.
  • 2016-2017: George was appointed Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board in 2016, working with Ministers and colleagues in the parliamentary party to develop new policy ideas on innovation, enterprise and aid and trade.

 

Profiles

 

Other links

Big Tent Ideas Festival

Politics is undergoing a tectonic shift. That’s why this year I launched the first-ever Big Tent Ideas Festival, aiming to tackle the most difficult policy challenges we face. Bringing together over a hundred thinkers across the political spectrum, we discussed new ideas on everything from Brexit to intergenerational fairness, centred around three main themes: Politics, Society and Economy.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival is part of the new Capital Ideas Foundation, and will be setting off round the country over the next twelve months as the forum for the best new ideas in public policy. Click below and join us.

Read more:

Publications

4th July 2018 The 5-year Land Supply is beginning to undermine public trust | PoliticsHome


9th May 2018 We urgently need to turn the NHS from being a barrier to technology to being a champion | The House Magazine


13th June 2018 The time to reform Britain and tackle the generational divide is now, not after Brexit | Daily Telegraph


9th May 2018 We deserve more choice than the hard left of Corbyn or hard right of Farage | The Times


8th May 2018 How to fix the burning injustice that is Britain's housing market | CAPX


18th March 2018 Conservatives need to be as economically bold as Margaret ... | FT


11th January 2018 Brexit is an electrifying moment for renewing the NHS | Politico


19th December 2017 The need for a new foreign policy based on aid, trade and security | Bright Blue


25th November 2017 Tories in danger of becoming an outdated party talking to itself, says George Freeman | The Times


20th November 2017 George Freeman: We need a new Chairman and team at CCHQ to lead a radical programme of Conservative renewal | ConservativeHome