City of London cancels Mansion House dinner after tower block fire

"Investors need certainty in order to continue to support the United Kingdom economy and create jobs as we leave the EU", Hammond will say, according to the Treasury.

In a speech prepared for the Bankers and Merchants Dinner at Mansion House tonight, Andrew Parmley will stress that a Brexit deal which ensures access to the European Union single market is "vital" for City businesses.

The City of London Corporation confirmed shortly afterwards that the dinner would not go ahead.

Officials indicated that Mr Hammond would revisit the issues he had planned to address in his speech at a later date, including telling businesses they would still have access to £42bn of European Investment Bank funding after Brexit.

The prime minister made her own visit to the scene in west London, as did the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The chairs and chief executives of all the major banks are usually in attendance.

There is a precedent for cancelling the speech, a key event in the calendar of both the political and financial worlds, after George Osborne delayed it a year ago following the murder of MP Jo Cox.

He was set to appear at the Bankers and Merchants Dinner alongside figures including Bank of England governor Mark Carney and the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Andrew Parmley.

Hammond is expected to cover the issue he had meant to discuss at the dinner at a later date.

Earlier reports suggested the Chancellor was preparing to use the event to publicly criticise Theresa May's plans for a hard Brexit, just days before negotiations with Brussels begin.

Mr Parmley was also expected to emphasise the importance of immigration for United Kingdom business.

A Treasury spokesman told the BBC Hammond would deliver his speech "in the near future". "Our thoughts are focused with the victims and their families and friends".

"All thoughts are [with] those affected by the tragedy at Grenfell tower".

  • Zachary Reyes