George FreemanMember of Parliament for Mid Norfolk
The Conservative Party must avoid, according to George Freeman, being ruled by “nostalgia, hard Brexit, public sector austerity and lazy privilege” (2018). A direct descendent of William Gladstone, Freeman founded the 2020 Group of Conservative MPs, self-described as the party’s “radical progressive centre-ground”. Following university (at Cambridge), Freeman worked as a lobbyist for the NFU and for 15 years in biomedical venture capital. Freeman was chair of the science and technology in agriculture APPG and soon became PPS to the climate change minister Greg Barker. In 2011, he was appointed government life sciences advisor. In 2014, he took on a newly created role as minister for life sciences at the health and business departments, earning the nickname “High Tech Hezza”. In 2016, he was appointed as chair of the PM’s Policy Board but soon resigned. In 2018, Freeman described his horror at being given £2.4bn by the Treasury to computerise the NHS, with no previous warning. Freeman has been intent on applying “proper parliamentary scrutiny” to post-Brexit bills, unafraid to vote against the government, with particular regard to agriculture. From 2019 to 2020, he was minister of state at the DfT.
Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0