Roger Freeman, Baron Freeman

Roger Norman Freeman, Baron Freeman, PC (born 27 May 1942), a British Conservative politician, was Member of Parliament for Kettering from 1983 to 1997, having unsuccessfully contested Don Valley in 1979. He served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in John Major's Cabinet. He had previously served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (1986-88), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (1988-90), and Minister for Public Transport (1990-1995) ranking as Minister of State. In that post he was responsible for steering through the House of Commons the Railways Bill, providing for the privatisation of British Rail and enacted as the Railways Act 1993.

Before entering Parliament he had been a chartered accountant, working for an investment bank. His wife - Jennifer Freeman - was Secretary of The Victorian Society.

Narrowly defeated in the 1997 General election, he was shortly afterwards elevated as a life peer to the House of Lords and sits as Baron Freeman, of Dingley in the County of Northamptonshire.

He did his best to make the dying days of the Major government more colourful by appearing on Channel 4's tendentious 'bottom up' television programme, the 'People's Parliament'. Appearing by video link, he was quizzed by the female Scots host on the alleged unapproachability of politicians 'in grey suits'. Freeman quipped: "Well, I can't just start turning up to work in a jumper!".

Freeman's remark though was better-judged than any viewer might have realised at the time. The Major government's strategy weekend where Cabinet members arrived wearing jumpers was much lampooned.


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