Bargain Hunter: Deal of the Week The mortgage for non-cabinet members

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FINDING A cheap mortgage is not always easy. So here's my top tip for the Christmas break: get in touch with Geoffrey Robinson.

Home loans from Mr Robinson have in the past been set at bank base rates, a far more favourable charge than that operated by any mortgage lender. The only drawback is that you must be a Labour MP to qualify.

If you are not one of the lucky MPs, here's an alternative Christmas mortgage cracker. Market Harborough Building Society is launching a five- year fixed-rate deal, pegged at 5.75 per cent. Redemption penalties apply only in the fixed period. Some compulsory insurances are needed, but in the case of accident, sickness and unemployment cover it is - at pounds 1.50 per pounds 100 of monthly mortgage repayments - one of the cheapest in the market.

Market Harborough also offers a two-year fix at 4.99 per cent. It may not be good enough for Peter Mandelson, but it will have to do for the rest of us. Call 01858 463244.