Norfolk MP George Freeman has said he stood down as a science minister partly because he could not afford rising mortgage payments on his salary of almost £120,000.

The Conservative MP quit as a science minister in November, amid prime minister Rishi Sunak's cabinet reshuffle.

At the time, he cited a desire to focus on his Mid Norfolk constituency and on his health and wellbeing.

But in a recent blog post, Mr Freeman revealed part of the reason for quitting was he could not afford to pay his rising mortgage on a ministerial salary.

He wrote: "I was so exhausted, bust and depressed that I was starting to lose the irrepressible spirit of optimism, endeavour, teamwork and progress which are the fundamentals of human achievement.

"And because my mortgage rises this month from £800pcm to £2,000, which I simply couldn’t afford to pay on a ministerial salary.

"We're in danger of making politics something only hedge funder donors, young spin doctors and failed trade unionists can afford to do."

Mr Freeman, Mid Norfolk MP since 2010, would have been receiving an annual salary of around £118,300.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Mid Norfolk MP George FreemanMid Norfolk MP George Freeman (Image: Archant)

Mr Freeman will be able to make more money outside of government.

On top of his MP’s salary of £86,584, he also is free to take on lucrative second jobs, subject to approval by anti-corruption watchdog the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Many homeowners are facing steep monthly mortgage hikes as they come off fixed-rate deals.

Mortgage rates soared and the value of the pound tumbled in the wake of the disastrous mini-Budget by Mr Freeman's fellow Norfolk MP Liz Truss in September 2022.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Liz TrussLiz Truss

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They had already been on the rise after a string of rate hikes by the Bank of England to curb inflation.

Mr Freeman also told the New Statesman on Monday his finances "are not what they were – at all", having gone through "a very painful divorce" and with parents "who are both getting elderly".

Mr Freeman, who has been re-selected to fight to retain his seat at the next general election, also said: "It looks very likely that we’re going to have a Labour government."