Lord Harris is a successful businessman and sponsor of the multi-academy trust which bears his name. The Harris Federation comprises 48 academies across London. Despite being a long-time donor to the Conservative Party, a fan of Margaret Thatcher and a known friend of David Cameron, Harris has been a vocal opponent of the government’s funding cuts to schools, describing them as a “false economy”. He suggested that the free schools policy should be overhauled by the Department for Education. The Conservative peer, who was knighted in 1985 and joined the Lords in 1996, has also criticised any expansion of grammar schools.