He has served as the Minister for Technology, Life Sciences and Innovation in the Department of Health and Social Care and Minister for Civil Society, Heritage, Tourism and Growth in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
From 2005 to 2019, he was a Conservative MEP for London. In the European Parliament, he was leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists political group of MEPs from 19 countries, and worked to promote open trade, tech start-ups and less but better financial regulation. As the most senior elected British MEP, he acted as an interlocutor between UK and EU negotiators during talks on the UK’s departure from the European Union.
He previously worked as an IT Business Systems Analyst for a bank. After returning to academia to study for a PhD, he taught and researched on international trade and international business. He left academia to work as a strategy, public affairs and diversity consultant.
In his rare moments of leisure, he spends time with his family and enjoys cycling, Pilates, reading, writing, travelling and walking. He plays electric bass or guitar and sings in a couple of rock and blues bands.
Syed was born, grew up and continues to live in London. His father came to London in the 1950s to work on the railways and as a bus driver.