Minister quit £120k-a-year job because he 'couldn't afford mortgage hike' from £800 to £2,000 a month

29 January 2024, 16:25 | Updated: 29 January 2024, 16:28

George Freeman's mortgage went from £800 to £2000 a month
George Freeman's mortgage went from £800 to £2000 a month. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A Tory MP has revealed he quit his £120,000-a-year ministerial job because he could not afford his mortgage repayments soaring from £800 to £2,000 a month.

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George Freeman, the MP for Mid Norfolk, said the mortgage hike was the primary reason behind his departure from Rishi Sunak's Government during the November reshuffle.

Mr Freeman complained about the current state of politics, arguing that it had become a place for "hedge fund donors, young spin doctors and failed trade unionists".

The MP, who has held number of ministerial posts in multiple Conservative governments, received £7,920 in severance when he quit Boris Johnson's government in July 2022.

Former Minister for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman
Former Minister for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman. Picture: Alamy

He then returned as science minister under Sunak's premiership four months later.

Now he is no longer a minister, Mr Freeman could take on a second job, as long as it is approved by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Read More: Labour's housing 'revolution': Rachel Reeves proposes 25-year mortgages in boost for first-time buyers

Read More: People with mental health issues ‘more likely to have cut back to pay mortgage’

The salary of an MP will rise to £92,731 in April, which he could supplement with the second job.

"I was so exhausted, bust and depressed that I was starting to lose the irrepressible spirit of optimism, endeavour, teamwork & progress which are the fundamentals of human achievement," the MP complained in a Substack post.

"Government is a cruel mistress. Modern Politics is a savage playground," he added.

It comes after research shows more than a million Brits face a hike of £1,800 in their mortgage payments this year.

The Resolution Foundation warned that 2024 will mark the first time that British households will be poorer at the end of a parliament than when it began.

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