Theresa May to warn ministers against leaks

Theresa May to warn ministers against leaks

Theresa May to warn ministers against leaks

Philip Hammond is at the centre of a furious row with his own Cabinet colleagues after it was claimed he told them public sector workers were overpaid.

The chancellor denied making the latter comment - he said he was making the point it was outrageous there were not more female train drivers - but did not deny making the comments about pay.

Mr Hammond, who campaigned for Remain with Theresa May, said he wanted a Brexit focused on protecting jobs, the economy and "rising living standards in the future".

According to The Sunday Times, at last Tuesday's meeting the Chancellor refused to lift the controversial 1% cap on wages for public sector workers because they receive bigger pensions.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has defended himself amid claims that he labelled public-sector workers as "overpaid".

The Chancellor said his Cabinet colleagues should not have talked about the meeting's contents.

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Hammond then went to to claim public sector workers are paid a "premium" compared to those in the private sector when pension contributions are taken into account.

In an unusual move, the Chancellor aired his frustrations in public, accusing hardline Brexiteers around the cabinet table of trying to damage his attempts to avoid a cliff-edge Brexit and secure a deal that would protect jobs and the economy.

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.

GMB national secretary Rehana Azam also said Mr Hammond was "out of touch with public opinion" over public sector pay.

Former party leader Ian Duncan Smith told the BBC there was no appetite among conservative lawmakers for a leadership contest and said his colleagues should "shut up" and "let everyone else get on with the business of governing".

This is despite the fact that wages have fallen by 14% in real terms since 2010, making it harder for the public sector to recruit and retain quality talent into the workforce.

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Theresa May will tell ministers that they should focus on their job of delivering for the public.

"I believe the great majority of my colleagues now recognise that is the right and sensible way to go, both in the United Kingdom and the European Union", he said.

"It is absolutely clear that businesses, where they have discretion over investment, where they can hold off, are doing so and you can understand why", he said.

In addition, last week, a group of peers co-signed a letter in a national newspaper urging the government to reconsider its policy on pay in the public sector, ahead of a debate.

That caused some general astonishment. His overall tone was that we shouldn't give them more cash because they are overpaid.

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