POWER TRANSITION

Britain chancellor to quit if Boris Johnson becomes PM

Hammond said he would resign on Wednesday to Theresa May.

In Summary

• He said he intends to quit after Prime Minister's Questions but before Mrs May steps down.

• Mr Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were "closely aligned" on Brexit policy.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond attends an interview during the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Chantilly, near Paris, France, July 18, 2019.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond attends an interview during the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Chantilly, near Paris, France, July 18, 2019.
Image: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Philip Hammond has told the BBC he intends to resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes the UK's next PM.

He said a no-deal Brexit, something Mr Johnson has left open as an option, was "not something I could ever sign up to".

Asked if he thought he would be sacked next week, Mr Hammond said he would resign on Wednesday to Theresa May.

 

He said he intends to quit after Prime Minister's Questions but before Mrs May steps down.

Mr Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were "closely aligned" on Brexit policy.

He said the situation "might be more complicated" if Jeremy Hunt wins the Tory leadership contest, but "all the polling" suggested Mr Johnson would succeed.

"That is what is likely to happen, and I'm making my plans accordingly", he said, adding he would wait until the result is announced on Tuesday to "see for sure".

Mr Johnson has said the UK must leave the EU by the new Brexit deadline of 31 October "do or die, come what may".

Mr Hammond said he understood committing to leave by this date, even with no deal, would be a condition for serving in Mr Johnson's cabinet.

He said: "That is not something I could ever sign up to. It's very important that a prime minister is able to have a chancellor that is closely aligned with him in terms of policy".

 

He added that Jeremy Hunt's position regarding a no-deal Brexit was "more nuanced", and he had not demanded a "loyalty pledge" on the exit date from prospective ministers.

Mr Hammond has been a prominent critic of the idea of a no-deal Brexit, recently indicating he may vote to bring down the next PM to stop such a scenario.

He had said he could "not exclude anything" when asked whether he would back a motion of no-confidence in the government.

Asked on the Andrew Marr programme whether he would vote against the next PM in a vote of no confidence, he said: "I don't think it will get to that".

"I am confident that Parliament does have a way of preventing a no-deal exit on October 31 without parliamentary consent".

"I intend to work with others to ensure Parliament uses its power to make sure that the new government can't do that", he added.

Earlier, Justice Secretary David Gauke reiterated his intentions to resign from government should the next prime minister pursue a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Gauke told the Sunday Times: "If the test of loyalty to stay in the cabinet is a commitment to support no-deal on October 31 - which, to be fair to him, Boris has consistently said - then that's not something I'm prepared to sign up to."


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