Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United Kingdom chancellor Philip Hammond irks may with sexist remark

United Kingdom chancellor Philip Hammond irks may with sexist remark

"Public-sector workers are overpaid when you take into account pensions", he said, according to the Sunday Times.

He slammed unions for failing to allow women to become train drivers, saying that was the reason 95 per cent were male.

"What I know is: we're not a group of clones, we have discussions round the table and outside cabinet, we debate issues, we decide what's right and we get on with it".

He suggested the briefing was down to people who were angry about the softer Brexit stance he favoured to "protect our economy, protect our jobs", as well as the summer "silly season" of drinks receptions.

The attempt to instil Cabinet discipline comes after a series of newspaper headlines about Mr Hammond's comments at last week's Cabinet, culminating in a Daily Telegraph front page story quoting an unnamed minister accusing the Chancellor of trying to "f*** up" Brexit.

Mr Hammond refused to deny he made the comments and said that public-sector workers were 10 per cent better off than private-sector workers as they enjoy "very generous contributions" that their employers pay in for their "very generous" pensions.

Mr Hammond said the Government needed to provide as much clarity as possible, as soon as possible, to restore business and consumer confidence and get the economy moving.

As tensions at the top of the Government spilled out into the open, Mr Hammond warned fellow ministers to focus on "the job in hand" rather than leak details of confidential discussions.

"Our backbenchers are furious and the only people smiling at this will be in Berlin and Paris".

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Two Israeli police officers, Major General Eyal Sattawi and Kamil Shanan, were killed. The senior cleric was detained near al-Aqsa Mosque after he led Friday prayers.

He threw his support behind the Prime Minister, dismissing speculation that there were plots being hatched against her.

"They are all low paid, all vital, and all in need of a pay rise now".

Fox said his Cabinet colleagues needed to keep "very quiet" and stick to their own departments.

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, urged colleagues to "for once, shut up for God's sake, and let everyone else get on with the business of governing".

"She will remind them of their responsibilities and make the point that ministers aross government need to be focsued on delivering for the British public".

Over the past few days, it has emerged that Mr Hammond described public-sector workers as "overpaid" and said that driving a train is so easy that "even" women can do it.

A post-election poll by the TUC showed that 76 per cent of voters - including 68 per cent of Conservative voters - want to give public-sector workers a pay rise.

A cabinet source saying: "Philip used a fairly inflammatory phrase".

"It is absolutely clear that businesses, where they have discretion over investment, where they can hold off, are doing so and you can understand why", he said.

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