Treasury minister misses pre-Budget photo due to agoraphobia

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke reveals he ‘lives with agoraphobia’ and is not ‘comfortable in some open spaces’ as he misses traditional pre-Budget photo outside Number 11

  • Treasury minister Simon Clarke did not take part in traditional pre-Budget photo
  • The Chief Secretary to the Treasury revealed that he ‘lives with agoraphobia’ 
  • Mr Clarke said that it ‘prevents me being comfortable in some open spaces’ 

Rishi Sunak’s deputy at the Treasury did not take part in the traditional pre-Budget photograph outside Number 11 Downing Street as he revealed he ‘lives with agoraphobia’. 

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the condition ‘prevents me being comfortable in some open spaces’. 

As a result he opted to miss the famous ‘red box’ photo call but insisted he will be ‘busy in Parliament and out in the country over the coming days’ to explain the measures in the Budget.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the condition ‘prevents me being comfortable in some open spaces’

Rishi Sunak posed with his team of Treasury ministers this morning outside Number 11 Downing Street

The Treasury ministerial team is ritually photographed together outside the famous black door while the Chancellor holds up their Budget ‘red box’ before the financial statement in the House of Commons.

The photograph has on occasion, including in March before Mr Sunak’s spring speech, been taken inside Downing Street.

Mr Sunak and his team of junior ministers stood outside Number 11 this morning at 10.45am but Mr Clarke was absent. 

He explained in a tweet that he would not be taking part in the photo as it was taking place in the street.

Tweeting an indoor photo of him alongside Mr Sunak this morning, he said: ‘Really looking forward to explaining the Budget and SR (Spending Review) alongside the Chancellor.

‘I won’t be outside for the photos in Downing Street as I live with agoraphobia – which prevents me being comfortable in some open spaces – but will be busy in Parliament and out in the country over the coming days.

‘Today is all about a major moment for the UK and we have an important story to tell about investment in our public services and infrastructure, economic recovery, levelling up and net zero – those are the issues I’m proud to be discussing today.’

Mr Clarke tweeted that he will be ‘busy in Parliament and out in the country’ in the coming days to explain the Budget

Mr Clarke was promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Boris Johnson’s September reshuffle.

He had previously been a local government minister but resigned in 2020, citing personal reasons understood to relate to his family life.

Before his local government post, the Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland had previously been exchequer secretary to the Treasury.

Source: Read Full Article