Hammond’s Bud­get blun­der – and a bit­ter row with No 10

The Mail on Sunday - - The Great Election Flasco -

CHAN­CEL­LOR Philip Hammond’s Bud­get an­nounce­ment in March that he was hik­ing Na­tional In­sur­ance for the self-em­ployed trig­gered a tsunami of crit­i­cism and al­most led to his res­ig­na­tion. A week later he was forced into a hu­mil­i­at­ing U-turn.

The episode pro­voked a spec­tac­u­lar pri­vate brief­ing war be­tween No 10 and the Trea­sury.

The row be­came in­cen­di­ary af­ter a source close to Hammond was quoted de­scrib­ing May’s aides of be­ing ‘eco­nom­i­cally il­lit­er­ate’. May’s co-chief of staff at the time, Nick Ti­mothy, took it per­son­ally. He was ‘in­can­des­cent’, and his dis­re­spect­ful at­ti­tude to Hammond and his views shocked of­fi­cials. The row be­came so bit­ter that Hammond con­sid­ered quit­ting Govern­ment.

On Brexit the pair clashed re­peat­edly. Hammond is the Cab­i­net’s most vo­cal sup­porter of a ‘soft Brexit’, while Ti­mothy can claim re­spon­si­bil­ity for trans­form­ing Theresa May from a re­luc­tant Re­mainer into a pas­sion­ate Leave sup­porter.

U-TURN: Chan­cel­lor Philip Hammond

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.