Chancellor Admits: I Wouldn't Win Tory Leadership As I'm Not Eurosceptic

30 May 2019, 08:56

The Chancellor has told LBC he couldn't serve under a Prime Minister who had a policy to leave the European Union without a deal.

That has been seen as a message to Boris Johnson, who has said Britain needs to leave the EU with or without a deal on 31st October.

Philip Hammond also revealed he's not entering the race himself because he knows he wouldn't win as he's not a Eurosceptic.

Asked by Nick Ferrari why he didn't throw his hat into the ring, he responded: "Because I wouldn't win."

Nick prompted why and the Chancellor said: "Because the electorate for the leadership of the Conservative Party is the paid-up membership of the Conservative Party. And I know something about the paid-up membership.

"I know that the views of that group are, by a significant majority, Eurosceptic. I know that a lot of them don't agree with the stance that I have taken to our future relationship with the European Union.

"It's very important in this competition that there are candidates expressing clearly the view that we must have a negotiated settlement and that we must have a close future trading partnership with the European Union.

"But I think it's better that somebody less divisive in the party than me is making those arguments."

Nick Ferrari asked Philip Hammond if he'd serve under the next Prime Minister
Nick Ferrari asked Philip Hammond if he'd serve under the next Prime Minister. Picture: LBC / PA

When asked if he would serve under the next Prime Minister, he said: "It depends on the policy of the government.

"I wouldn't be able to support a policy of leaving the European Union without a deal as a matter of policy. So clearly it would depend on who is forming the government and what the policy agenda was."

Nick suggested that meant he wouldn't serve under Boris Johnson, but the Chancellor was diplomatic, adding: "Let's see what the position of the candidates ends up as being."