‘First female chancellor if May’s Tories win election’
LONDON: British Chancellor of the Exchequor Philip Hammond may be replaced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd if Prime Minister Theresa May wins next week’s general election, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
May’s Conservative Party looked on track to win a large parliamentary majority when she called an early election in April but since then the Conservatives’ lead over Labour has narrowed. Polling company YouGov has estimated the party could even fall short of the seats needed for a majority.
Doubts about Hammond’s future have mounted since he had to reverse plans to raise payroll taxes for self-employed workers just days after presenting his first annual budget in March.
A spokesman for the Conservative Party said the report was “complete speculation, rather irrelevant speculation before an election.”
After declining to answer questions about whether she planned to keep Hammond in his job, May was asked if she was happy to endorse him. “Happy to do so, very happy to do so,” she said, while Ham- mond played down reports of a rift as “tittle-tattle”.
The Telegraph quoted another minister as saying May might prefer to keep Rudd as interior minister and replace Hammond – the most publicly pro- European and pro-business member of her top team – with defence minister Michael Fallon.
“Whoever is chancellor, they want someone who will work with Number 10 and share, not keep it to themselves. They want a compliant chancellor, not an ego. Amber and Fallon both tick the box,” the minister said. – Reuters