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High mortgage payments force Government minister to quit - claim

It usually takes a scandal or a reshuffle to remove a Government minister so it came as a bit of a surprise yesterday when Tory MP George Freeman revealed that high mortgage forced him to leave his ministerial position.

Freeman, who stood down as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, Research and Innovation in November 2023, revealed that he could no longer afford his mortgage on a ministerial salary after the monthly repayments rose from £800 to £2,000.

That may come as a surprise to some given that his salary would have been £118,300 a year but Freeman told the New Statesman that his finances "are not what they were - at all", having gone through "a very painful divorce" and with parents "who are both getting elderly.”


He got little sympathy from property professionals though.

Sabrina Hall, mortgage adviser at Kind Financial Services, told the Newspage agency, “It's at least refreshing that MP's are feeling the impact of their own actions. However, how this situation differs considerably to that of most ‘normal’ people in that most people when worrying about their mortgage payments don't leave their jobs unless they have the promise of another higher paid job. 

“The fact that he has options is a massive privilege. If his payment is £2,000 then I speak with clients who have a mortgage payment around this level who are on half (if not less) than that salary so I suspect that the real issue is that he's overstretched in other areas such as car finance. 

“In addition, and I'm making quite a few assumptions here but given that his mortgage payment is relatively low compared to his income (despite what he might say) I would assume that he has plenty of equity in his property and therefore has the option to sell and potentially downside which isn't an option a lot of people have.”


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