POLITICS

Philip Hammond Denies Being 'Enfeebled' Following Cabinet Leaks Against Him

Theresa May tells ministers to keep differences 'private'.

18/07/2017 12:37 BST | Updated 18/07/2017 13:42 BST
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images

Philip Hammond has denied being “enfeebled” by a series of cabinet leaks including the claim he said public sector workers were overpaid.

The chancellor has blamed the briefings against him on rival ministers opposed to his desire for a so-called soft Brexit.

One ministerial colleague accused Hammond of trying to “f*** up” the process of leaving the EU.

Another senior Tory hit back and told HuffPost UK Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are “dangerous and deranged” in their push for a hard Brexit.

Speaking in the Commons today, Hammond dismissed mocking Labour MPs who suggested he was losing an internal-Cabinet battle.

“I don’t know what planet he lives on but I don’t feel particularly enfeebled,” he said.

According to reports, Hammond was reprimanded Theresa May during Cabinet for saying that women could “even” become train drivers - a claim he denied.

A separate report said that he had told colleagues that public sector workers were overpaid compared with those in the private sector.

May told her Cabinet this morning that their discussions should “remain private” and ministers who were leaking were “not taking their responsibilities seriously”.

It was reported this morning that the prime minister could face a leadership challenge in the autumn after the summer parliamentary recess.

But Amber Rudd said people should “fully expect” May to be prime minister this time next year.

“She’s giving us the leadership we want, and we will be going ahead guided by her,” the home secretary told LBC this morning.

Rudd said “most cabinet ministers” were getting on with their jobs rather than battling each other.

“I do think that Cabinet should be a place where we are able to have frank, honest discussions, disagree with each other sometimes and then get on with the job,” she said.

“This leaking needs to stop and I absolutely support the prime minister setting that out for us.”