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  World   Europe  03 Jun 2017  May mulls new finance minister as battle looms

May mulls new finance minister as battle looms

REUTERS
Published : Jun 3, 2017, 2:51 am IST
Updated : Jun 3, 2017, 2:51 am IST

Conservative Party’s lead over Labour shrinks to 5 points, shows new opinion poll.

Former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Ed Davey demonstrates with campaigners against British Prime Minister Theresa May’s social care policy, or ‘Dementia Tax’, in London on Friday. (Photo: AFP)
 Former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Ed Davey demonstrates with campaigners against British Prime Minister Theresa May’s social care policy, or ‘Dementia Tax’, in London on Friday. (Photo: AFP)

London: British finance minister Philip Hammond may be replaced by interior minister Amber Rudd if Prime Minister Theresa May wins a landslide victory in next week’s national election, The Telegraph reported on Friday as a new opinion poll showed that the Conservative Party’s lead over the opposition Labour has shrunk to five points from 15 just over two weeks ago.

Doubts about Mr Hammond’s future have mounted since he had to reverse plans to raise payroll taxes for self-employed workers just days after presenting his first annual Budget in March while Rudd has played a highly visible role in the election.

 

The Telegraph cited senior government sources as saying that Ms Rudd, a former investment banker and venture capitalist, had the qualities needed to run Britain’s finance ministry and that they could “see it happening”.

“If the Prime Minister has a very big majority, she will be able to do what she likes — the bigger the majority, the bigger the reshuffle,” one unnamed minister said.

A spokesman for Ms May’s party said the report was “complete speculation — rather irrelevant speculation before an election”.

Mr Hammond has annoyed many Conser-vatives who favour a clean break with the EU by stressing the need for a Brexit deal that allows firms to keep hiring the migrant workers they need.

 

The opinion poll, from Ipsos MORI, is the latest to show a narrowing lead for May. With less than a week to go before the national election, the poll showed the Conservatives’ share of the vote had fallen to 45 per cent, down four percentage points since the previous poll published on May 18. A YouGov opinion poll on Wednesday showed the Conservatives’ lead had fallen to a fresh low of three points. 

Tags: conservative party, theresa may, philip hammond
Location: United Kingdom, England, London