Geert Wilders (Dutch: ; born 6 September 1963) is a Dutch politician. He has been Leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV) since he founded it in 2006. Wilders is the parliamentary leader of his party in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer). In the 2010 formation of the Rutte cabinet, a minority cabinet of VVD and CDA, he actively participated in the negotiations, resulting in a "tolerance agreement" (gedoogakkoord) between the PVV and these parties, but withdrew his support in April 2012, citing disagreements with the cabinet on proposed budget cuts. Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam; his views have made him a controversial figure in the Netherlands and abroad, and since 2004 he has been protected at all times by armed bodyguards.
Raised a Roman Catholic, Wilders left the church at his coming of age. His travels to Israel and the greater Middle East as a young adult helped form his political views. Wilders worked as a speechwriter for the conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie – VVD), and later served as parliamentary assistant to party leader Frits Bolkestein from 1990 to 1998. He was elected to the municipal council of Utrecht in 1997, and one year later to the House of Representatives. Citing irreconcilable differences over the party's position on the accession of Turkey to the European Union, he left the VVD in 2004 to form his own party, the Party for Freedom.