IOE and IT welcomes new exports minister Mike Freer MP to a 'vitally important brief'

Fri 17 Sept 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The UK has a new exports minister after Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley & Golders Green, was appointed to replace Graham Stuart MP, who left the post last night (Thursday 17 September) after five years.

Freer will report into Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, who on Wednesday was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

Trevelyan’s arrival at the Department for International Trade follows the promotion of previous incumbent Liz Truss to Foreign Secretary on Wednesday, as reported in the IOE&IT Daily Update.

‘A pivotal time’

IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mr Freer to his new role as Minister for Exports. He’s picking up a vitally important brief at an absolutely pivotal time – with a new government Export Strategy due before the end of the year.

“Getting support for our exporters – and potential exporters – right could make a huge difference, not only to way Britain trades but also on policies such as levelling-up and raising productivity.”

Forgione added that the IOE&IT “looks forward to engaging with the new minister at an early opportunity to discuss how we can work even more closely with him and his department to achieve our shared objectives.”

Export role

Freer, who had a career in banking and finance before entering parliament in 2010 (see Career Milestones, below), will work alongside new Minister of State Penny Mordaunt MP.

As Minister for Exports, Freer will be responsible for a range of areas, including:

  • export policy and promotion
  • UK Export Finance (UKEF)
  • UK Defence and Security Exports
  • climate change and COP26 summit
  • the GREAT campaign, the international marketing campaign promoting the UK overseas, recently refreshed after its 2011 launch
  • trade missions

Political career milestones

May 2010: Elected to Parliament as Conservative MP for Finchley & Golders Green

October 2013: Made PPS to the Department for Communities and Local Government Ministerial team

November 2013: Awarded ‘Speech of the Year' by The Spectator for his remarks during the Second Reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which included: "This isn’t about a tax break or legal protection...This is who I love and this is who I am"

June 2017-July 2018: Served as Assistant Government Whip

July 2018-present: Appointed Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

December 2019-present: Appointed Comptroller HM Household (Government Whip)

September 2021-present: Appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Exports

Thanking Graham Stuart

As Graham Stuart returned to the backbenches, he tweeted that it had been “a great privilege and enormous pleasure to serve as a minister for the last five years. DIT is going from strength to strength and I’m proud of all that has been achieved.”

Forgione praised Stuart for having been “a brilliant advocate for the UK’s international trade potential. It has been a genuine pleasure working with you as Minister for Exports.”

Stuart launched the IOE&IT’s Policy Platform in April, which called for the UK to pursue an export-led recovery and included a ten-point plan for UK trade policy.