Here are 600 properties Mark Simmonds can afford in London, despite resigning because £120,000 MP salary is not enough
The Conservative MP and Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds resigned yesterday, telling the BBC that pay for MPs was not enough for him to spend time with his family in the capital.
He said the “intolerable” situation was due to the lack of financial support for MPs which he claims is not enough to rent a flat for his family in London.
Simmonds can claim £27,875 a year towards renting a home closer to parliament than his constituency in Lincolnshire, according to the independent body that oversees MPs' expenses.
That’s roughly £2,300 a month for a four-bed home for his wife and three children- in addition to the £89,435 salary he receives as a junior minister. His wife Lizbeth also earned an income between £20,000 and £24,999 in 2012 and 2013 working as the MP's office manager.
The allowance is almost exactly the amount of the average worker's annual salary of £27,000.
A quick search of a property listing website Rightmove finds more than 600 properties with four bedrooms in London priced at a maximum of £2,250 per month, and 15 located within a mile of Westminster.
Just 2.5 miles from the Houses of Parliament is a four-bed flat off Borough High Street and close to the Shard that is still £133 short of the most Simmonds can claim.
Even with a swift 20-minute tube journey to work (direct on the Jubilee line), he might not find it quite right (it should always trigger alarm bells when estate agents don’t show pictures of the inside of the property).
It also appears to have been snapped up this morning by a renter who must presumably be earning more than the MP.
There are still plenty of other options though.
If Simmonds’ feels a flat just won’t work, there’s a mid-terrace house near Oval that fits the bill. Not only is the price range at £2,037 a month, it’s the same walking distance to Westminster as the Borough flat, and has an attractive modern interior.
Staying south west of Westminster there’s also a three-storey town house in Vauxhall that, while not quite as nicely styled, does have a garden for the kids.
If Simmonds’ prefers to be north of the river, there’s another smart flat in the neighbourhood of St John’s Wood costing £2,167 a month. Close to the shops of Kilburn High Road, two stations and with a garden, it’s another comfortable family home.
And if these close by to Westminster just don't work for Simmonds, there are hundreds of others he can choose from a little further away, but still in the capital.