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FREER Michael


Minister for Exports

Date of Birth: 29 May 1960

Age: 63 years old

Profession: Minister



Michael Whitney Freer is a British Conservative Party politician and former banker. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Finchley and Golders Green at the 2010 general election. Freer is a former leader of Barnet Council and a former councillor for the Church End and St Paul's wards in Finchley.

Early life

Mike Freer was born in Manchester on 29 May 1960. Part of his childhood was spent in council accommodation, which was then bought by his parents following the Conservative government's Right to Buy policy. He was state educated at the Chadderton Grammar School for Boys and subsequently at St Aidan's County High School (now Richard Rose Central Academy) in Carlisle. He read accountancy and business law at the University of Stirling but did not graduate with a degree.

Freer worked for a number of fast-food chains, including Pizzaland, Pizza Hut and KFC, prior to a management career in the financial sector. Freer worked for Barclays Bank as an "Area Performance Manager".

Local government

Freer was first elected to Barnet Council in 1990 for the St. Paul's ward, winning the seat from Labour. However, he lost the seat back to Labour in 1994 and went on to lose in the East Finchley ward in 1998. He was re-elected to the council, for the Church End ward, in 2002. He was unanimously elected leader of the council by his party on 11 May 2006, replacing Brian Salinger as Conservative group leader, having previously been Salinger's deputy.

Following the collapse of Icelandic banks Glitnir and Landsbanki in October 2008 in which Barnet Council had invested £27.4m of council taxpayers' money, Freer was named Private Eye's "Banker of the Year" in its Rotten Borough Awards of 2008. The money was subsequently recovered.

In 2009, Freer announced a new model of local government delivery for the London Borough of Barnet, called "Future Shape" which he stated could save Barnet Council £24 million a year. The scheme has been dubbed easyCouncil because of its similarity to easyJet's business model.

Parliamentary career

In the 2005 general election, Freer contested the Harrow West constituency in the neighbouring borough of Harrow. He finished second to the Labour incumbent Gareth Thomas, whose majority was cut from 6,000 to 2,000.

He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Finchley and Golders Green at the 2010 general election, and was re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019.


Freer was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport following the 2015 general election, and served in this post until the 2017 general election.

On 15 June 2017, Freer was appointed as an Assistant Government Whip. In July 2018, he was appointed Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, before being promoted to Comptroller of the Household in December 2019 in the second Johnson ministry.

On 16 September 2021, Freer was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exports at the Department for International Trade during the cabinet reshuffle.

In the House of Commons he has sat on the Work and Pensions Committee, the Scottish Affairs Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.


Freer is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). Although he is not Jewish, The Jewish Chronicle in 2008 ranked him 99th in its list of 100 most powerful influences on the Jewish community. In 2014, Freer resigned as parliamentary private secretary to Nick Boles in order to vote against a backbench motion recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel, arguing "the two-state solution we all want to see should be the end not the start of the process".

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Freer was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.

Freer was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.

He was a vocal defender of the Prime Minister Theresa May after she and the Conservative Party received criticism for her role in the Windrush scandal in 2018. After a constituent wrote to him complaining about the Conservative Party's role in the scandal, he responded that it was nothing to do with the party and that they should not believe 'misrepresentations' from the Labour Party.

On 1 April 2019 Freer was one of fifteen Conservative MPs to vote in favour of a People's Vote – a second referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

Other events

In October 2011, Freer was the target of an attack at a constituency surgery in a mosque in his constituency of Finchley by members of Muslims Against Crusades.

In October 2019, Freer hosted a crocus planting ceremony in memory of the 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Holocaust, which was attended by around 100 members of the local community. Chair of the local constituency Labour Party Matt Staples subsequently claimed that Freer had "politicised" the event by not inviting "representatives from across the political spectrum".

In April 2022, after the conviction of Ali Harbi Ali for the murder of David Amess, Freer revealed that he had been told by anti-terrorism police that Ali had visited his constituency office on 17 September 2021. Freer would normally have been at the office, but was not there as he was attending other meetings. Freer upgraded his security arrangements following the incident.

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