Philip Hammond attacks Tory general election campaign

Philip Hammond attacks Tory general election campaign

Philip Hammond attacks Tory general election campaign

Labour Party lawmaker David Lammy said that the government and the police should immediately seize all documents relating to the building's renovation to prevent the destruction of evidence that could show criminal wrongdoing.

Hinting he could reverse £3billion of planned cuts to local government budgets in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, he warned: "We have never said we will never raise some taxes".

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, Hammond admitted the United Kingdom electorate were "weary" of spending cuts, which dominated his predecessor George Osborne's fiscal policies.

In the past few days, the softly spoken Hammond, whose future as Chancellor seemed to hang in the balance before May lost her Conservative party's majority in this month's vote, has made clear the silence he kept during the campaign had ended.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show Hammond said he had change the fiscal targets of his predecessor George Osborne which created "a lot more flexibility to respond to the situation on the ground.' Adding though that the country still needed to 'live within our means".

"I understand that people are tired after years of hard work to rebuild the economy after the great crash of 2008-09, but we have to live within our means".

Hammond has no direct part in Brexit talks which begin in Brussels on Monday but his new confidence means he is likely to press May and other ministers to prioritise the economy in the complicated negotiations for Britain's European Union departure.

Mrs May has refused to rule out this scenario, saying repeatedly that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

Mr Hammond emphasised that leaving the EU meant the country would leave the single market and the customs union.

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John O'Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, added: "The government already plans to increase the tax burden to a level unseen for 50 years so it beggars belief that they're considering squeezing even more out of the spluttering economy".

"We're leaving the EU and because we are leaving the EU, we will be leaving the single market and by the way, we will be leaving the customs union".

It also plans to replace its membership of the customs union, which enables tariff-free trading within the EU, with a new arrangement that lets it strike trade deals with the rest of the world.

"She's got no mandate here and she's got no authority overseas and the negotiation starts tomorrow".

On the one hand he said that Britain will definitely be quitting the customs union, which will dismay business lobby groups, but the chancellor also hinted that the United Kingdom might then want to automatically opt back into Europe's tariff-free trading block.

But UK government officials insisted they will continue to push for talks on a comprehensive trade agreement to discussed alongside a deal on the withdrawal process.

Certainly since the general election, employers see a chance for a "softer" Brexit than that outlined in the Lancaster House speech in January by Theresa May.

Squaring that circle might be the political challenge of our generation.

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