Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

May endorses Hammond after reports of rift

May endorses Hammond after reports of rift

Quizzed over whether Mr Hammond would remain Chancellor if the Conservatives win on June 8, Mrs May replied: "It's true to say the Chancellor and I and every other member of my team are focused on June 8".

Rumours have been circulating in Westminster for weeks about tensions between Hammond and Nick Timothy, May's influential co-chief of staff, who is overseeing the Conservatives' campaign manifesto.

"There was a lot of swearing and angry phone calls", one source told The Times, with Mr Timothy suspecting an attempt to tie his hands as he prepared the manifesto.

Pressed to give a personal endorsement of the Chancellor, Mrs May said: 'Very happy to do so - as Philip says we have worked together over the years, for many years.

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May also emphasized the length of their working relationship.

When asked about relations between himself and the Prime Minister's team at Canary Wharf this morning, Hammond said: "I wasn't referring to any particular conversation but I do occasionally swear". "What I candidly admitted this morning - and my family will confirm this - is that I do occasionally swear". Indeed some of them are people that I've known for many, many years. We work very closely together. Standing beside Mrs May later at the central London event, Mr Hammond tried his best to close down the row, saying her team was "extremely strong".

Mr Hammond added that the pair "work very closely together" and "have known each other for many, many years".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hammond said: "This is tittle-tattle".

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However, in a sign of retreat the chancellor then stressed the manifesto was yet to be completed. "Yes, very happy to do so".

"As Philip says, we've worked together over the years, for many years", the prime minister said. "That's an age-related comment, rather than anything else, just in case you try and read anything into that".

I'm challenging Philip Hammond to a debate on Tory cuts and on the economic strategy that Labour has set out for strong economy that benefits the many and not few.

The Labour Party published its manifesto and we published the detailed costings of all our policy proposals and where the funding would come from to pay for those policies.

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The Prime Minister also played down claims that Britain's pending departure from the European Union is to blame for the declining value of the pound, which has seen inflation outstrip wage increase for the first time since 2013.

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