May 27, 2018

Philip Hammond is trying to **** up Brexit, Cabinet minister says

17 July 2017, 04:41 | Rufus Hill

RED BOX | ANALYSISJuly 18 2017 9:00am The Times Tories want Theresa May to lay down the law Matt Chorley Red Box Editor

RED BOX | ANALYSISJuly 18 2017 9:00am The Times Tories want Theresa May to lay down the law Matt Chorley Red Box Editor

Philip Hammond slapped down his Cabinet colleagues live on TV on Sunday after finding himself at the centre of a fresh row over comments he reportedly made about public sector pay.

According to The Sunday Times, Mr Hammond said public sector workers were "overpaid" when their pensions were taken into account and that train drivers were "ludicrously overpaid".

"He is too removed from the reality of daily life to see the impact of seven years of pay pinching on ambulance workers, nurses and teaching assistants", said GMB national secretary Rehana Azam.

The Treasury has denied he used the words attributed to him but the report added five sources had attested to the Chancellor using the language.

Mr Hammond said: "They shouldn't have done it frankly because Cabinet meetings are supposed to be a private space in which we have a serious discussion".

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: 'Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda which I, over the last few weeks, have tried to advance'.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is one of those pushing for such a period to last months rather than years, but today he claimed he did not know who was behind the "deplorable" leaks.

Mr Hammond said that government ministers were becoming increasingly convinced of the need for transitional arrangements to reduce disruption as the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Mr Hammond believes government ministers were becoming increasingly in favour of the need for transitional arrangements to reduce disruption during the process of Britain leaving the EU. "What I would say is that the Government is all working together to deliver Brexit, which delivers on the will of the British people".

It was later claimed that Mr Hammond had told his Cabinet colleagues pushing for public sector pay rises that workers in public services were "overpaid" in comparison to their private sector peers.

Mr Hammond, who campaigned for Remain with Theresa May, said he wanted a Brexit focused on protecting jobs, the economy and "rising living standards in the future".

This is despite the fact that wages have fallen by 14% in real terms since 2010, making it harder for the public sector to recruit and retain quality talent into the workforce.

His comments "will fuel public anger that the Tories are out of touch with the public mood and will plunge Tory MPs into despair at the Chancellor's political tin ear", says the Times.

Distressed ambulance driver explains how he faces extreme financial struggles, thanks to the public sector pay freeze.

Brexit Minister David Davis will head to Brussels on Monday for a first full round of Brexit talks, with European Union officials hoping the Government, yet to set out detailed proposals on several major issues, begins to show more urgency about doing a deal before Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.

But an unnamed minister was quoted in this morning's papers stating that Mr Hammond was attempting to derail Brexit.

'Later in the meeting both Boris Johnson and the PM said we should not say public sector workers are overpaid'.

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