Andrew Pierce 6pm - 9pm
Toby Young Apologises For "Defamatory" Philip Hammond Tweet
30 September 2019, 15:08
Philip Hammond threatened legal action in response to a tweet by Toby Young that accused him of recycling an anti-semitic conspiracy theory.
The ex-chancellor, Philip Hammond, suggested in The Times that one reason why Boris Johnson might want a no-deal Brexit is so that his "backers in the City don't lose billions."
Toby Young, a former education czar, tweeted: "I'm surprised that you, Robert, the author of a novel about the Dreyfus affair, would recycle Hammond's disgusting anti-Semitic conspiracy theory: Boris is being manipulated by a secret cabal of city financiers who stand to profit from economic ruin. Have you joined @UKLabour?"
Philip Hammond responded: "This is self-evidently absurd. But it is also defamatory. I will be taking legal advice tomorrow morning. I shall make no further comment."
Toby Young then replied: "Apologies Philip. The suggestion that “speculators” are controlling the govt could be construed as an anti-Semitic trope if “speculators” is being used as a euphemism for Jewish financiers, as it sometimes is. But you evidently didn’t mean that and I’ve deleted the tweet."
Hammond then finished the thread, by saying: "Apology accepted, though I did not use the word “financiers”. Always happy to discuss our differences - so long as we keep it civilised."