Ex‑minister Freeman's resignation due to mortgage woes sparks outrage in Britain
Freeman, 56, a member of the Conservative Party, served as the minister for science, innovation, and technology in Rishi Sunak's government. He resigned in November last year but didn't disclose the reasons for his departure until recently.
In his blog, Freeman wrote that he stepped down from his government role because his mortgage payment became unaffordable. He noted the monthly payment jumped from 800 to 2,000 pounds a month (approximately $1,093 in American currency).
"We risk turning politics into an arena exclusive to hedge fund donors, young spin doctors, and incompetent trade unionists," Freeman warned.
The politician, who earned over 118,000 pounds annually (or roughly $161,243) from his roles as both a minister and a member of the House of Commons, mentioned his work in the Science Ministry "wore heavily on his family." He also admitted to feeling "exhausted" and "dejected."
Freeman's words sparked outrage among UK residents earning far less while shouldering burdensome mortgage payments.
"The poor thing. Can we support him somehow?"
A constituent represented by Freeman in parliament told the BBC her mortgage payments also grew from 800 to 2,000 pounds a month. "I have to repay them, not from a six-figure annual income," she stated.
"He's resigned from his 118,000-pound ministerial position. After taxes, he's only left with 72,000 pounds. Deducting the mortgage payments of 2,000 pounds a month leaves him 48,000 pounds to live on—the poor man. Can we support him somehow?" another constituent humorously remarked during a conversation with the BBC.
Freeman now earns an annual salary of 86,500 pounds as a member of the House of Commons. However, the BBC points out that lawmakers, unlike governmental members, can supplement their parliamentary income. Thus, Freeman could pursue high-paying employment if he secured approval from the anti-corruption supervisory body.
Downing Street confirmed it has "no plans to modify the policy on ministers' salaries."