Mike Freer resigns as minister blaming PM over ‘hostile atmosphere for LGBT+ people’

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Mike Freer resigns as minister blaming PM over ‘hostile atmosphere for LGBT+ people’

The Finchley and Golders Green MP, who has previously hailed Boris Johnson's stance on fighting antisemitism, says Johnson government has 'moved away from the One Nation Conservative Party I joined'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Mike Freer speaks after winning the Finchley and Golders Green constituency in north London for the 2019 General Election. (Photo credit: Jacob King/PA Wire)
Mike Freer speaks after winning the Finchley and Golders Green constituency in north London for the 2019 General Election. (Photo credit: Jacob King/PA Wire)

Finchley and Golders MP Mike Freer has resigned as Minister for Exports and Minister for Equalities accusing Boris Johnson’s government of “creating an atmosphere of hostility for LGBT+ people”.

In a letter made public on Wednesday as the Prime Minister’s future as leader became increasingly precarious, Freer, a long-time ally of Johnson’s, wrote that the party had “moved away from the One Nation Conservative Party I joined.”

Only last month Freer had expressed his continued support for the PM ahead of a no confidence vote in the Commons citing his “steadfast” support for “my Jewish community in fighting antisemitism.”

But in his letter Freer said that as representative of the constituency he was left asking himself what former leader and Finchley MP Margaret Thatcher would have done.

He said he had decided to “prioritise the diverse constituency” he had been elected to represent “as well as my passion for equalities.”

Writing to the PM, Freer, a former party whip, said it was with “deep regret” he announcing his resignation, adding he had been grateful for the PM’s support “with my recent security issues.”

During at High Court trial in March, it had emerged that Freer’s parliamentary office was visited by the killer of MP David Amess. Freer told the Old Bailey he now wore a stab vest and had fitted panic alarms as a result.

Freer’s own friendship with the Prime Minister was known to be tested after the long awaited Conversion Therapy Bill failed to include protections for transgender people.

On Wednesday Tory ministers, including Michael Gove, lined up to tell the PM it was time for him to stand down.

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