POLITICS

Cabinet 'Not A Group Of Clones' Says Chris Grayling, Amid Rows Over Brexit

Transport secretary claims Tory party is united.

17/07/2017 09:29 BST
GLYN KIRK via Getty Images

Chris Grayling has defended the cabinet as “not a group of clones” as internal Tory splits over Brexit exploded into the open over the weekend.

Philip Hammond yesterday angrily accused Cabinet rivals of trying to undermine his attempts to focus on “protecting our economy” during the exit talks with the EU.

But this morning The Daily Telegraph quoted one unnamed cabinet minister hitting back at the chancellor in strong terms.

“What’s really going on is that the Establishment, the Treasury, is trying to f*** it up. They want to frustrate Brexit,” the minister said.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Grayling attempted to play down reports of seething rows.

“I don’t see these great divisions that are suggested to me in the Sunday newspapers and I have to say I think all of this is somewhat overplayed,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

The transport secretary and leading Brexiteer said the suggestion that there were “profound and fundamental differences” between Cabinet ministers on Brexit were “a bit exaggerated”.

But he admitted: “We’re not a group of clones, we have discussions around the Cabinet table and outside Cabinet, we debate issues, we decide what’s right and then we get on with it.

“I’m very clear that the Cabinet and the party are united behind Theresa May, united in determination to get the right deal for the country in the Brexit negotiations and to make sure we continue the economic progress we’ve made.”

The rowing will be seen as further evidence of May’s weakness after seeing her Commons majority wiped out in last month’s general election.

The row comes as David Davis returns to the negotiating table in the Belgian capital for the second round of talks with the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.