Congratulations! Norfolk MP gets engaged
PUBLISHED: 16:33 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:15 03 January 2019
It has been a particularly momentous festive period for Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, who has got engaged.
The 51-year-old, who has been Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk since 2010, proposed to Fiona Laird while bending down on one knee on Christmas Day.
He had bought a ring which he wrapped up as a present under the Christmas tree.
The pair were childhood friends and, while he grew up in Newmarket, she was in nearby Ely.
They both have a love for East Anglia and horse racing.
He said: “Fiona, who is a theatre director, and I had been thinking about getting married for a long while.
“I bent down on one knee to propose. She said it was a bit old-fashioned but she said yes. Fiona is three years older than me.”
Her father was a school master and her mother was a musician at King’s School in Ely.
Mr Freeman added: “We met again four years ago at a friend’s birthday. We were sat next to each other.”
He posted on social media: “Finished with a bang on a personal high as I finally got down on one knee after four years and proposed to my rock @fionalaird. And she said yes.
“I’m a lucky man to find someone who shares my belief in politics done properly. And is prepared to take in her stride the strains it places on family life.
“Thank you to my dear teenage children and many mutual friends, who’ve been such rocks of support to us all through some tough times. Here’s to 2019.”
In a post on social media, next to a photograph of her ring finger, Ms Laird, who has no children of her own, said: “Did I mention that my left hand now looks like this? Yes, George popped the question on Christmas Day, I said yes, and... we are engaged. My first marriage wasn’t much fun. “This feels MUCH more promising!”
Mr Freeman said it was too early to set a wedding date.
He added: “We are trying to buy a house at the moment in London, where Fiona lives, and we have to get through Brexit.”
Mr Freeman, who was previously married to Eleanor from 1996 to 2016, has two children aged 17 and 15.
More comments from Mr Freeman
“After the sadness of the end of my first marriage in 2014, it has been a joy to find happiness again - especially with someone who understands and shares my commitment to politics and public life.
“Through her career as a theatre director and work founding the National Youth Arts Trust, Fiona is used to the strange hours and various demands of political life. Having also grown up together locally it’s a joy to have so many mutual friends and a shared love of East Anglia.”
“After going out for three years many friends have been asking when I would finally pop the question - but we’ve wanted to wait until my teenage children and our families have got to know us both as a couple”.