Chancellor says No 10 tensions ‘tittle-tattle’

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The Chancellor has dismissed as “tittle-tattle” reports of significant tensions between him and Theresa May’s team.

According to reports, Philip Hammond was involved in a number of “angry and swearing” phone conversations with the PM’s team over disagreements on policy.

But, speaking to Sky News, Mr Hammond said: “This is absolute tittle-tattle made up by the media.

“We have an enormous job to do here in managing the British economy, creating the kind of society that we want to see in the future. An economy, a society that works for everyone.

“Theresa May has got a very strong team we work very closely together, we act as a team, we’ve all got different roles to play and our focus at the moment is on working together to deliver Theresa May the mandate she needs on 8 June to get the best possible deal for Britain in our negotiations with the European Union.”

When asked if he thought he would lose the post of Chancellor after the election, he said: “My focus at the moment is on winning this election.

“Anything about who gets what job is for 9 June. At the moment the focus is on 8 June and making sure we give Theresa May the mandate she needs to get the best possible deal for Britain because that is what is in the nation’s interests.”

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Mr Hammond is understood to have initially opposed Mrs May’s manifesto pledge to introduce an energy cap on bills for 17 million households.

The Prime Minister’s team is also said to be smarting over over Mr Hammond’s broken 2015 manifesto promise on National Insurance Contributions.

The Tories’ flagship 2015 pledge was not to raise VAT, national insurance or income tax.

This is exacerbated by the fact Mr Hammond has since effectively committed her to not keeping the promise not to raise VAT, income tax or National Insurance Contributions in the 2017 manifesto.

He has also apparently further angered Team May by watering down the free schools building project.

According to The Times newspaper, the relationship between Mr Hammond and Mrs May’s chief of staff Nick Timothy has become “increasingly strained”.

However, a Conservative campaign source also told the newspaper: “We don’t recognise these characterisations.”

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Chancellor says No 10 tensions ‘tittle-tattle’

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