|Member of Parliament
for Finchley and Golders Green
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Rudi Vis|
29 May 1960 |
Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Michael Whitney Freer (born 29 May 1960) is a British politician.
A Conservative, he was 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 from the Church End ward in Finchley.
Michael Whitney Freer was born in Manchester in 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 legislation. He was educated at the Chadderton Grammar School for Boys and subsequently at St Aidan's College in Carlisle. He read accountancy and business law at the University of Stirling but, in not taking his finals, did not graduate.
Freer worked in managerial roles 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 a relationship director.
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 in 1994, in which the Conservatives were routed nationally. He was re-elected to the council, for the Church End ward, in 2002. He became leader of the council on 11 May 2006, replacing Brian Salinger as Conservative group leader, having previously been Salinger's deputy. His appointment was approved unanimously.
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 selected for Finchley and Golders Green on 10 December 2006. Freer maintains a poster in his office of his rival, Sarah Sandford, with scrawls over the poster "I beat". Freer is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). Although he is not Jewish, The Jewish Chronicle, in its list of 100 most powerful influences on the Jewish community, named Freer 99th, not least because of his membership of CFI and his chairmanship of the Barnet multi-faith forum. Freer chose to resign his position 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".
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, stating: "He told councillors that he couldn’t be blamed for the council losing £27.4m in dodgy Icelandic banks because he had never bothered to review the council's investments. Ever. And in a former life he used to be, er, a banker. Quite." 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 claims could save Barnet Council £24 million a year. The scheme has been dubbed easyCouncil because of its similarity to easyJet's business model.
He lives with his husband, Angelo Crolla, in one of the three properties he owns in Barnet. He and Crolla entered into a civil partnership in January 2007. On the eighth anniversary of their civil partnership, in January 2015, they converted it into a marriage.
- Profile, ukwhoswho.com; accessed 12 May 2015.
- "Mr easyCouncil defends his local government model". the Guardian. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Marc, Shoffman (11 December 2006). "Gay councillor to fight key Tory target". Pink News. Retrieved 3 June 2008.[dead link]
- Marzouk, Lawrence (18 May 2006). "'Right-wing coup'". Times Series Newspapers. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "About the Leader". Barnet Council Conservatives. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "JC Power 100: The people shaping Jewish life in Britain". Jewish Chronicle. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- Kinder, Tabitha (14 October 2014). "Golders Green MP Mike Freer Resigns Role Over Commons Vote to Recognise Palestine as a State". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- Lowe, Rebecca (8 January 2009). "Something rotten in the state of Barnet". Times Series. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- Mulholland, Hélène (3 February 2010). "Mr easyCouncil defends his local government model". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- "MP Mike Freer 'threatened at mosque surgery'". BBC News. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- Freer, Mike (6 February 2013). "Mike Freer: A gay Tory MP on why he went public". The Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Congratulations! Tory MP Mike Freer and partner Angelo convert their civil partnership to marriage". Pink News. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Official website
- Mike Freer on Twitter
- Profile, conservatives.com
- Profile, finchleyconservatives.org.uk
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Finchley and Golders Green