TALK of a growing rift between Theresa May and Philip Hammond deepened yesterday as a former aide to the Prime Minister led a stinging attack on the Chancellor’s abilities ahead of next week’s Budget.
Nick Timothy, who was forced to resign from his post as Ms May’s joint chief-of-staff following the Tories’ disastrous performance in June’s general election, accused the Chancellor of lacking the desire to change people’s lives for the better.
It is the latest in a string of attacks conducted via the press indicating that the Tory Cabinet is completely adrift — and consumed by infighting.
Mr Timothy said: “I fear Philip Hammond’s instinct is to maintain existing policy, regardless of its quality.
“I worry it is because the Chancellor lacks a burning desire to change people’s lives for the better.”
He said that Mr Hammond had “got it all wrong” in his first Budget as chancellor and had been forced into a dramatic U-turn after a backlash over plans to increase national insurance contributions for the self-employed.
“Theresa May warned him repeatedly that he was making a mistake, but the Chancellor insisted on going ahead and the inevitable occurred.
“Conservative MPs rebelled and he dropped the policy and the tax receipts that came with it,” he said.
Demonstrations will take place in towns and cities across the country on the eve of the Budget, with a London gathering at Downing Street.
People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn told the Star that the government has had plenty of time to improve people’s lives but instead is making things worse.
“This weak and divided government has got to go,” he stormed.