Philip Hammond blasts Boris Johnson and warns: Nobody is unsackable

Posted On: 
2nd October 2017

Philip Hammond has hit out at Boris Johnson and warned he could face be fired after his repeated attempts to undermine Theresa May.

Mr Hammond also denied a previous report that he texted the Foreign Secretary pledging his support for a leadership bid in the wake of the humiliating general election result
Credit: 
PA Images

The Chancellor said no Cabinet minister was “unsackable” after the Prime Minister refused to say the same yesterday.

Mr Johnson has infuriated colleagues with his repeated challenging of the Prime Minister on Brexit and even domestic issues that are not his brief.

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Top Conservatives have accused him of making a pitch for the leadership and warned him to put up or shut up.

And business leaders have warned that continual Cabinet wars were undermining confidence in the UK and that bosses were "growing impatient with division". 

In a fresh intervention today he has suggested the Foreign Office and the Department for International Trade should be merged – a move which would not be in his gift.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain this morning, Mr Hammond argued: "We all serve at the Prime Minister's pleasure and we all owe the Prime Minister our allegiance and our loyalty within the Cabinet."

He added: "I've always operated on the principle that it's probably best to believe that nobody is unsackable - everybody's got to pull their weight within the government."

He also denied a previous report that he texted the Foreign Secretary pledging his support for a leadership bid in the wake of the humiliating general election result.

'SACK BORIS OR QUIT,' MAY TOLD

Yesterday one Cabinet member said Mr Johnson's behaviour was "not the strategy I would adopt" and warned that there was no mood among party members for a leadership contest.

A minister told The Times the rows were destabilising the Prime Minister, and argued Mrs May must “sack Boris or stand down”.

“His every utterance is calculated to damage her. It cannot go on,” they added.

Another branded the Foreign Secretary a “constant international humiliation” and said he has “zero” parliamentary support.

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan told the BBC’s Westminster Hour that if Mr Johnson “can’t keep schtum” then “yes, he has to go”.

“Boris has got basically I suspect a matter of days in which to show, he's giving his speech on Tuesday I think, that he gets the message and that actually he's going to accept ministerial collective responsibility,” she said.

Elsewhere, the British Chambers of Commerce warned that public disagreements between Cabinet ministers were threatening business confidence.