Philip Hammond has confirmed he will resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister next week, as the scale of opposition to a no-deal Brexit among some ministers became increasingly plain.
Shortly before the chancellor made his announcement, live on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, the justice secretary, David Gauke, made the same pledge to a newspaper. Tobias Ellwood, the defence minister, also warned that leaving the EU without a deal was not the answer.
Hammond and Gauke were among a number of ministers who defied government whips last week to abstain on a backbench motion that would make it much harder for Johnson to suspend parliament and thus stop MPs from blocking no deal.
Asked by Marr if he expected to be sacked soon, Hammond said: “No, I’m sure I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point. Assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on 31 October and that’s not something that I could ever sign up to.
“It’s very important that the prime minister is able to have a chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy and I therefore intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”
Conceding that such an announcement on live TV was “a first”, Hammond said he would still be on the frontbench for May’s last outing at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday. “I intend to resign after prime minister’s questions, before the prime minister goes to the palace,” he said. [...]
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