Cabinet rivals 'trying to undermine Brexit agenda' claims Chancellor Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond
Chancellor Philip Hammond
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Chancellor Philip Hammond has lashed out at Cabinet rivals who briefed against him, accusing them of trying to undermine his attempts to secure a Brexit deal which protected jobs and the economy.

Mr Hammond has been hit by a series of press reports claiming the he told the Cabinet that public sector workers were "overpaid" and that driving a train was now so easy that "even" a woman could do it.

Appearing on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show, he blamed colleagues opposed to the agenda he had been setting out for extended transitional arrangements when Britain leaves the EU in 2019 so business was not faced with a "cliff edge" break.

"If you want may opinion, 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 of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs, and making sure that we have continued rising living standards in the future," he said.

Mr Hammond said he did not know who had been briefing against him although the Chancellor is widely believed to be at odds with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

"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 said.

"I think on many fronts it would be helpful if my colleagues - all of us - focused on the job in hand. This Government is facing a ticking clock over the Brexit negotiations."

Asked if there was now a fight under way within the Cabinet to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader, he said: "I certainly hope not. If there is I am no part of it."