David Freud, Baron Freud

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David Freud, Baron Freud

David Anthony Freud, Baron Freud (born 24 June 1950) is a member of the second chamber of the UK parliament appointed by the non partisan House of Lords Appointment commission in 2009. He served Labour and Conservative governments considering the challenges of welfare reform in the UK from 2006. He previously studied philosophy, politics and economics at Merton College, Oxford and worked as a journalist on the Financial Times and subsequently at a senior level in the financial sector organising funding for major potential employers and UK infrastructure improvement projects such as National Air Traffic Controls and the Channel Tunnel resigning from financial services sector in 2003. He is the son of Annette Krarup and Walter Freud who moved from Austria in 1938 following the Anslussch with Nazi Germany with his father Jean Martin and his grand father Sigmund Freud (whose books were burnt and sister's killed in Nazi concentration camps). David Freud's father Walter subsequently served in British Special Operations and as an investigator for the War Crimes Investigation Unit.


Freud attended Whitgift School, an independent school in Croydon, south London, followed by Merton College, Oxford.[1]


David Freud was employed in media sector between 1972-1976 by Western Mail and 1976-1983 by the Financial Times. In 1983 he entered the financial services sector and was employed by what became UBS until he resigned in 2003, his role involved him in many high profile funding projects to raise capital for UK and Europe infrastructure projects such as Eurotunnel, EuroDisney and National Air Traffic Services targeted at supporting the economy and creating jobs in various sectors.

His employed role brought with it a great deal of publicity and criticism from some quarters. He was for example criticized by some MPs with regard to the rescue plan for the Channel tunnel rail link. He has commented about feeling "equivocal" with hindsight and he left the financial services industry in 2003 and wrote the book Freud in the City: 20 Turbulent Years at the Sharp End of the Global Finance Revolution published in 2008 on the eve on the financial crash. The book incurred critisims in some quarters.

Between 2005–2008 Freud was chief executive of the Portland Trust, which aims "to promote the peace process" in Palestine and Israel using economic measures.[2]

In March 2007 David Freud published an independent report entitled ‘Reducing dependency, increasing opportunity: options for the future of welfare to work’.

Between 2008 to 2009 at the request of the then Labour government David Freud acted as an adviser on welfare reform, contributing to a White Paper published in 2008, he resigned as an adviser in 2009.

David Freud subsequently joined the Conservatives in opposition as Shadow Under Secretary becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary for Welfare Reform in 2010.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Welfare Reform (May 2010 -)[edit]

David Freud has confronted the controversial subject of welfare reform in the UK which engenders strong reactions on all sides of the political arena.

Further facts with regards to David Freud's initiatives as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Welfare Reform required.

Statements re People with a Disability[edit]

At a fringe meeting at the 2014 Conservative Party Conference in October 2014 a questioner referring to individuals with considerable disabilities put to David Freud a question that it may be the case that some people with disabilities may be unable to gain employment at the minimum wage because some employers might not pereceive a benefit to them at that rate, David Freud accepted the premis of the question for which he subsequently apologised and clarified his own view “I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else".[9], the selective recording of the conversation was released by parties unknown with an agenda unknown something to the effect: "You make a really good point about the disabled ... There is a group - and I know exactly who you mean - where actually, as you say, they're not worth the full wage and actually I'm going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it's working can we actually...".[3] At the time of his remarks the UK national minimum wage was £6.50 per hour (aged 21+), £5.13 per hour (aged 18–20), £3.79 per hour (under 18), £2.73 per hour (apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year).[4] Freud's comments were criticised by David Cameron (whose son Ivan who had considerable disabilities died in 2009 aged six) Conservative Prime Minister who commented "Of course disabled people should be paid the minimum wage and the opposition leader Ed Milliband of the Labour Party at Prime Minister's Questions on 15 October 2014.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.debretts.com/people-of-today/profile/26754/David-Anthony-Freud-FREUD
  2. ^ "David Freud Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Reform)[1]
  3. ^ "Freud: Pressure continues over disability pay comments". BBC News. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "National Minimum Wage rates". GOV.UK. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ed Miliband questions Lord Freud future over disabled work claims". BBC News. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 

External links[edit]