Ex-UK finance minister Hammond joins exodus from parliament

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves Downing Street in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Former British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he would not stand as a candidate in the upcoming national election, the latest high-profile lawmaker to join an exodus from parliament.

Hammond was one of 21 Conservative lawmakers expelled from the parliamentary party in September by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after they voted to prevent him taking Britain out of the EU without a divorce agreement.

Johnson’s decision to hold an election on Dec. 12, after parliament held up passage of his Brexit deal with the EU, has triggered a wave of resignations or retirements in the House of Commons, including many centrist politicians from his own party who have said the time has come to move on.

“If I fight the general election as an independent conservative candidate against an official Conservative Party candidate, I would cease to be a member of the party,” Hammond wrote in a letter to constituents.

“I am saddened to find myself in this position after 45 years of Conservative Party membership,” he added.

Fellow ex-finance minister Ken Clarke, former interior minister Amber Rudd and former deputy prime minister David Lidington have also said they will not contest the next election.

Hammond served as finance minister for three years in Theresa May’s administration until Boris Johnson won the race to replace her in July 2019. He was also foreign secretary and defence minister under prime minister David Cameron.

Nicknamed “Spreadsheet Phil” for his low-key and fastidious style as finance minister, Hammond campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union ahead of the 2016 referendum, although he was long regarded as a eurosceptic.

READ  UK fund assets flatline at £7.7 trillion in 2018 - report

He has been critical of Johnson’s hardline approach to Brexit and party discipline.

“The Conservative Party that I have served has always had room for a wide range of opinions and has been tolerant of measured dissent,” Hammond said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here