POLITICS

David Gauke Reveals He Wants To Be Chancellor Of The Exchequer

But Tory cabinet minister plays down idea he could become prime minister.

01/10/2017 16:12 BST | Updated 01/10/2017 20:14 BST

David Gauke has revealed he would like to be chancellor of the exchequer one day.

The work and pensions secretary, who spent seven years as a Treasury minister before being promoted to the cabinet by Theresa May, admitted his ambition during a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference hosted by HuffPost UK.

“Maybe one day actually to be honest, maybe one day I would like to do that,” he said when asked if he would like to be chancellor.

“I work very closely with Philip [Hammond], I think he is an excellent chancellor and just what we want.”

“Years down the line when the family is a bit older then maybe one day I would like to do that.”

OLI SCARFF via Getty Images
Theresa May on the first day of the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester.

Gauke downplayed the suggestion he could aim higher and try to become Tory leader and prime minister.

“I am really not sure I would ever want to do it,” he said. “To be honest there are huge qualities and attributes that you need to be prime minister. I think I am probably missing several of them. But one of them is a really strong desire to do the job.”

He added: “I have got a pretty young family. The commitment and resilience you need to do this job is one that is pretty daunting.”

Gauke added that he believed May should lead the party into the next election.

“Yeah. I think she should,” he said when asked. “If she can deliver on her domestic agenda. If she can deliver the Brexit that she is seeking to deliver. She will have really excellent record. And she will be able to go to the country and say these are the challenges we faced as a country and I have delivered on it.

He added: “In those circumstances I think she would be a very formidable candidate in a general election.”

The start of the Tory conference has been overshadowed by in-fighting among senior ministers.

But May has insisted her cabinet “united” behind her, despite renewed feuding over Brexit