For­mer May aide piles pres­sure on Ham­mond ahead of Bud­get

Yorkshire Post - - POLITICS & ECONOMY -

A FOR­MER key aide of Theresa May has launched a strongly worded at­tack on Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond’s abil­i­ties ahead of next week’s Bud­get.

Nick Ti­mothy, who quit as the Prime Min­is­ter’s joint chief of staff fol­low­ing the Con­ser­va­tives’ poor Gen­eral Elec­tion show­ing in June, said Mr Ham­mond lacked the de­sire to change lives for the bet­ter. The com­ments come af­ter a spate of re­ports claim­ing there is grow­ing ten­sion be­tween the PM and Mr Ham­mond.

Mr Ti­mothy said: “I fear Philip Ham­mond’s in­stinct is to main­tain ex­ist­ing pol­icy, re­gard­less of its qual­ity.

“This must not be mis­taken for con­ser­vatism. Nor is it down to a care­ful anal­y­sis that con­cludes the sta­tus quo is best.

“I worry it is be­cause the Chan­cel­lor lacks a burn­ing de­sire to change peo­ple’s lives for the bet­ter, and the imag­i­na­tion to see pos­si­bil­i­ties be­yond how the world works today.”

Mr Ti­mothy was also scathing about Mr Ham­mond’s past per­for­mance, writ­ing: “In his first Bud­get, Ham­mond got it all wrong.

“Con­cerned that the ris­ing num­ber of peo­ple in self-em­ploy­ment was re­duc­ing tax re­ceipts, he in­creased their Na­tional In­sur­ance Con­tri­bu­tions.

“Theresa May warned him re­peat­edly that he was mak­ing a mis­take, but the Chan­cel­lor in­sisted on go­ing ahead and the in­evitable oc­curred. Con­ser­va­tive MPs re­belled and he dropped the pol­icy and the tax re­ceipts that came with it.”

Labour also claimed yes­ter­day that Jeremy Hunt would have “failed in his re­spon­si­bil­ity” as Health Sec­re­tary if the NHS did not re­ceive at least an ex­tra £6bn a year in next week’s Bud­get.

Shadow Health Sec­re­tary Jonathan Ash­worth echoed warn­ings by Si­mon Stevens, the head of NHS Eng­land, that if the health ser­vice con­tin­ues to be “un­der­funded”, wait­ing lists will rise, can­cer care will de­te­ri­o­rate and men­tal health pledges will not be met.

Shadow Chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell also sug­gested yes­ter­day that Con­ser­va­tive MPs should put pres­sure on Mr Ham­mond to take rad­i­cal ac­tion to tackle Bri­tain’s hous­ing cri­sis, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially bor­row­ing money to build new homes.

NICK TI­MOTHY: For­mer aide to Theresa May has at­tacked the Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond.

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