Who would have expected telling the truth about life in broken Britain would come from one of the government’s own?

Like millions of others whose cheap rate mortgage fix has ended and facing new skyrocketing monthly payments, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman’s mortgage has risen from £800 to £2,000 a month. Ouch.

His £118,300 ministerial role banned him from taking on extra jobs to make ends meet, so he stepped away from his science minister role before Christmas to free him up to take other jobs on top of his standard MP salary of more than £86,500.

Mr Freeman might have believed that detailing his own financial squeeze in his blog would endear him to people in the same boat, in a ‘poor bloke knows just how we feel’ kind of way. 

Homeowners across the UK are collectively facing a £19bn increase in mortgage costs as millions of fixed-rate deals expire and borrowers are forced to renegotiate their home loans.

He might have believed that sharing his own financial plight would show empathy with the couple in Dereham having sleepless nights about how they are going to pay the mortgage, heat the house, feed the children and keep their heads above water. 

He might have believed his words showed that no mortgage borrower however high profile is exempt from the crippling weight of rising interest rates and everyone was sharing the pain.

His own tale of woe may well resonate with families considering downsizing – good luck with that in a stagnant housing market – and might even help the boss, Rishi, with the ‘we understand’ narrative.

“Why did I stand down?” One of the reasons, he said, was “because my mortgage rises this month from £800pcm to £2,000, which I simply couldn’t afford to pay on a ministerial salary”.

He added: “That’s political economy 2.0. We’re in danger of making politics something only hedge fund donors, young spin doctors and failed trade unionists can afford to do.”

Five front bench roles under five prime ministers had also left him “exhausted, bust and depressed” and government is a “cruel mistress,” he said.

In the eyes of people making the toughest choices every day, talking about being forced to take on jobs on top of an MP’s salary is crass and insensitive.

And for all of us in the year of a general election, hedge fund donors, young spin doctors and failed trade unionists are not the people we want running the country.

Within hours of Mr Freeman’s words, Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said death threats to MPs were common as minister Mike Freer said he was standing down at the next election after a series of threats, a decade of intimidation and an arson attack on his constituency office for his pro-Israel views.

He had been advised by police to wear a stab vest during events in his constituency and enough was enough, he said.

Multiple MPs have told of threats of attack, murder and rape. 

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey told Times Radio she had referred four people to the police and received death threats, Rosie Copper stood down after death threats and a year ago, Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones told how she was “bombarded” with death and rape threats after criticising influencer Andrew Tate.

How do - and why should they have to? - MPs distinguish between creepy saddos hiding behind fake names and a keyboard and real attackers with intent like those who murdered MPs Jo Cox and David Amess and stabbed Stephen Timms?

A ministerial salary might not be enough for George Freeman to live on but is an MP’s enough to exist under the constant pressure and anxiety of physical attack for doing a job for the greater good?

It’s time for a root and branch reform of parliament and legislation that stamps out trolls who make people in the public eye live in constant fear and trepidation.

It was an unfortunate timing that Mr Freeman’s blog came just hours before the death threats revelation.

I wonder how his words landed with couples in Mid Norfolk taking on evening driving, delivery or cleaning jobs on top of day jobs, cutting back on after school activities for their children and can only dream of a holiday and still falling short?  Rankled or welcomed as solidarity?

When people voted for him, they assumed his job would be full-time, demanding the week in London and weekends in his constituency, attending events, holding Friday surgeries, answering correspondence and taking up cases from people who need his help. 

No one who stands for election embarks on a campaign outlining all the other jobs they will be juggling with their full time MP role to boost their salary of more than £86,500.

Perhaps we should all adopt it as a doorstep question for the next election campaign? 

Will this role be your only job? Will you undertake other lucrative roles alongside this job? Can you explain how you will divide your time and how much you will earn from these roles?

If a £118,3000 ministerial salary isn’t enough, when all London accommodation is paid for by the taxpayer, as well as travel from his constituency home to London, the additional role or roles Mr Freeman intends to do must pay heftily.

If I was his constituent, I’d be feeling more than short-changed than sympathetic.