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Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds quits his post and moans: I just can’t live in London on £120,000

Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds quit yesterday, saying his salary and expenses of almost £120,000 were not enough to enable his children to live with him in London.

The MP for Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire resigned with an attack on Parliamentary expenses – complaining that his income would not cover the cost of a Westminster flat that would accommodate his family.

This is despite the fact that he received a ministerial salary of £89,435, an allowance of around £28,000 to rent a property in London and pays his wife Lizibeth up to £25,000 in her role as his office manager.

Mr Simmonds said he will also leave Parliament at next year’s election because he hardly ever sees his family – two daughters aged 15 and 13 and a son aged 12 – because they live in his constituency.

‘There needs to be a system of allowances and support structures in place that supports MPs in their work, enables them to be normal people, which currently I believe is not the case,’ he said.

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