New chancellor Philip Hammond rules out emergency Budget and indicates slowing pace of deficit reduction
NEW prime minister Theresa May has made Philip Hammond chancellor in place of George Osborne.
In her first act as prime minister, May sacked Osborne and replaced him with Hammond, a key ally and former foreign secretary.
Boris Johnson has been appointed as foreign secretary and David Davis has been made minister for Brexit – officially known as secretary of state for exiting the European Union.
Hammond’s reputation within Westminster has been as a ‘safe pair of hands’ who has garnered experience working in the private sector before becoming an MP in 1997.
The new chancellor has ruled out an emergency Budget following the UK’s decision to quit the EU, but warned Britain would face challenges in managing the economy because of the “shock” of the Brexit vote.
“We’ve seen an effect in markets, we’ve seen business investment decisions being paused because businesses now want to take stock, want to understand how we will take forward our renegotiations with the European Union, what our aspirations are for the future trading relationship between Britain and the European Union,” he told BBC News.
Hammond also indicated that he would consider slowing the pace at which Britain cuts its deficit, which stands at about 4% of gross domestic product.
“Of course we’ve got to reduce the deficit further but looking at how and when and at what pace we do that, and how we measure our progress in doing that is something that we now need to consider in the light of the new circumstances that the economy is facing,” Hammond told Sky News.