WATCH: Philip Hammond announces he will resign as Chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister
Philip Hammond has announced that he will resign as Chancellor if Boris Johnson wins the race to become the next Prime Minister.
In an extraordinary move, the Cabinet minister said he intends to hand in his resignation to Theresa May after her final Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons on Wednesday.
Mr Hammond said he could not serve under a Government which was willing to pursue a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, the Chancellor said: “I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point, assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next Prime Minister."
“I understand that his conditions for serving in his Government would include accepting a no-deal exit on 31 October.
“That is not something I could ever sign up to. It's very important that a Prime Minister is able to have a Chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy and I therefore intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”
His intervention came hours after David Gauke announced that he would step down as Justice Secretary for the same reason.
Mr Johnson has said that Britain must leave the EU "do or die" on the Halloween deadline and that any member of his frontbench team must be signed up to the possibility of a hard exit.
The Chancellor said that if Jeremy Hunt were to win the leadership race, his decision on whether to quit "might be more complicated” as the Foreign Secretary's position is more "nuanced".
“I haven’t heard him express clearly a requirement for a sort of loyalty pledge around the 31 October no-deal exit," he said.
“But look, all the polling, all the bookmakers suggest Boris Johnson will win, the question is by how much.
“I think that is what is likely to happen and I am making my plans accordingly, but of course I’ll wait until Tuesday to see for sure.”
Mr Hammond insisted that as a backbencher he would move to block a no-deal Brexit from going ahead if it did not have the consent of the Commons.
"This is a parliamentary democracy, and if the new Prime Minister can persuade Parliament to vote for a no-deal exit, then I will have to accept that this is a parliamentary democracy," he said.
"But we can’t have wheezes like suspending parliament or proroguing Parliament in order to deny Parliament its voice. This matter must be decided in Parliament."
It comes after he was one of three ministers to defy a three-line whip last week, by supporting a bid by MPs to make it harder for the next Prime Minister to suspend Parliament.
Mr Hammond also urged the new Prime Minister to head to Brussels as soon as possible to try and extend Article 50, as he warned there was not enough time to clinch a deal by the Halloween deadline.
He added: “A genuine pursuit of a deal will require a little longer, I understand the Europeans are signalling to allow a technical extension.
“I think what the new Prime Minister should do is go to Brussels soon, have a preliminary discussion to see if there is scope to work together and if he thinks there is, he should accept the offer of a technical extension to allow that discussion to take place.”
Theresa May is expected to formally resign on Wednesday, with the incoming Prime Minister set to make a speech shortly after.