Philip Hammond: Tories would have done better if campaign focused on economy

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.

"I think it was a mistake of the campaign not to focus more on an area where we have a great story to tell", Hammond said.

He also said the government "heard a message" in the election that people were "weary" of spending cuts.

Hammond also confirmed that despite the political uncertainty, there would not be a summer budget, adding that the Government would set out its taxation plans at the November budget.

He said the Conservatives were "not deaf" to the message that had been delivered at the ballot box on June 8 and would be looking at the plans it had for cuts to winter fuel allowances and ending the triple lock on pensions.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "It's true that my role [in the campaign] was not the one I would have liked it to be".

"Obviously we're not deaf".

"The end result is that in my judgement we did not talk about the economy as much we should have done".

But on Sunday, he also backed up May's approach, saying Britain would leave the single market and the customs union that sets external tariffs for goods imported into the bloc.

He said he understood people were exhausted of the "long slog" of spending cuts, but added: "We have to live within our means, and more not the solution".

Chancellor Philip Hammond, has hinted at tax rises to help fund an end to the government's austerity programme after admitting the public were "weary" of spending cuts.

"It's a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge".

Philip Hammond has warned failing to secure a Brexit deal would be "very, very bad" for Britain ahead of the start of exit talks in Brussels on Monday. "But ensuring that it happens via a smooth pathway to a deep and special future partnership with our European Union neighbors, one that protects jobs, prosperity, and living standards in Britain, will require every ounce of skill and diplomacy that we can muster", Hammond added.

Asked if that meant no transitional arrangements, she replied: "Well, I'm extremely optimistic that we will find there is a lot we can agree on".

The external cladding blamed for the ferocity and speed of the Grenfell Tower blaze is banned in Britain, the Chancellor has said.

  • Leroy Wright