Philip Hammond Uses Autumn Statement To Bash Jeremy Corbyn For Traingate

The Labour leader seemed to take it well.

Jeremy Corbyn is probably hoping everyone has given up and moved on from #traingate.

But Chancellor Philip Hammond was having none of it, when he used his first Autumn Statement on Wednesday to give Corbyn a gentle jibe with an announcement on transport spending.

Hammond revealed he would spend £1.1bn more on local transport networks - with the largest portion of that going on improving trains.

Recalling the time Corbyn filmed a video on a “ram-packed” rail service that it later emerged had seats available, Hammond joked:

“I will commit ... £450m to trial digital signalling on our railways to achieve a step-change in reliability and squeeze more capacity out of our existing rail infrastructure - something I know the Leader of the Opposition will welcome.”

Corbyn took the joke with good grace, smiling and the Chancellor and subtly nodding his head in an acknowledgment of the joke.

Elsewhere in the Autumn Statement, Hammond made Boris Johnson the butt of his jokes.

He told MPs he wanted to pay tribute to his predecessor, George Osborne. “My style” Hammond said. “Will of course, be different from his.”

“I suspect that I will prove no more adept at pulling rabbits from hats than my successor as foreign secretary has been at retrieving balls from the back of scrums,” Hammond said.

For years, Johnson tried to avoid questions about whether he wanted to become Tory leader by saying he would like it only “if the ball came loose from the back of the scrum”.