Philip Hammond defends claims he called public-sector workers 'overpaid'

Brexit Secretary David Davis

Brexit Secretary David Davis

One Cabinet minister told the Daily Telgraph today that Hammond was trying to "f*** up" Brexit, while Hammond suggested in an interview on Sunday that some of his hardline Brexit-suppporting colleagues were targeting him.

"We would not be members of the single market because we would leave the single market when we left the European Union on 29 March, 2019", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr. "We're not going to be talking a couple of months, we are going to be talking a couple of years".

But an unnamed minister was quoted in this morning's papers stating that Mr Hammond was attempting to derail Brexit. Britain has until March 2019 to negotiate its divorce from the EU. It's no wonder that they were happy to talk to journalists about the content of the discussion.

It has forced Mrs May to try and regain some semblance of control over her Cabinet, after she lost her authority following the disastrous general election result.

Hammond reportedly made the comments at a cabinet meeting last week where he refused to lift the 1% cap on government employees on the basis that they earn more than those in the private sector. Johnson is among ministers who've suggested the Treasury's cap on public-sector pay should be eased.

His comments regarding public sector workers being "overpaid" follow reports that he said driving a train was now so easy that "even" a woman could do it. First secretary Damian Green said: 'Now is absolutely not the time for this type of activity'.

DG: "Every July Westminster gets feverish and every July people say it's different this year and you know what it's the same every year".

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'The Government holds pay awards below inflation and forces year-on-year pay cuts on public sector workers.

Speaking on BBC TV's "Sunday Politics" show, Fox sought to play down differences with the chancellor.

"But when you take into account the very generous contributions public sector employers have to pay in for their workers' pensions - their very generous pensions - they are still about 10 per cent ahead".

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics show, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said any transitional period should be "very time-limited", and should allow the United Kingdom to strike new trade deals - something it is unable to do as part of the EU's customs union. He said his views and the chancellor's on transitional arrangements are very similar. He said he was not aware of any plans for a formal inquiry into the leaks.

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, urged colleagues to "for once, shut up for God's sake, and let everyone else get on with the business of governing".

JOHN McDONNELL condemned "out of touch" Philip Hammond yesterday after the Tory Chancellor was reported as saying that public-sector workers were overpaid.

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