Minister who quit saying he couldn't afford to work on £120k salary buys £1m home, part-funded by you

Remember the Foreign Office minister who quit yesterday saying his £120,000 salary wasn’t enough to rent a home in London?

Well it turns out he’s just bought a £1m seven-bedroom 17th century abbey, partly funded by the taxpayer.

The Telegraph has discovered Mark Simmonds made a profit of more than £500,000 when he sold his Putney home for £1.2m. Almost the whole time he owned it, he used taxpayer cash in the form of his parliamentary expenses to pay the mortgage interest, which was £1,800 a month.

This was allowed under expenses rules, but was criticised because it allowed MPs to personally profit from using public money. Now they are only allowed to rent second homes.

Swineshead Abbey, the estate bought by Simmonds and his wife, has 15 acres of land, formal gardens, a tennis court, an outdoor swimming pool and a three-car garage.

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Foreign Office minister quits as £120k salary not enough to support family in London

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