Boris Johnson shock: Phillip Hammond REJECTS Boris as PM - won’t serve as chancellor

Boris Johnson shock: Phillip Hammond REJECTS Boris as PM - won’t serve as chancellor

Mr Hammond said he would not serve under a prime minister who was prepared to leave the EU without a deal, as proposed by Mr Johnson and other contenders to become the next leader of the Conservative Party. Mr Hammond, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg on Friday, also warned whoever succeeds Theresa May not to withhold Britain’s dues to the bloc. He said: “I don’t think this is about personalities, it’s about policies.

“Before I could serve in any government, I would want to look at the policies that the prime minister was setting out. I would not be able to serve in a government which had as its policy leaving the European Union without a deal."

Mr Johnson has said Britain should be prepared to leave the EU without a deal on October 31 and that withholding the nearly £39billion (50billion euros) that Theresa May last year agreed to pay the EU could help Britain get a better deal.

Mr Hammond said: “We’ve always said that the UK is a country which honours its obligations.

“At least part of the sum that was agreed to be paid is part of our obligations under the existing MFF (long-term EU budget).

“So I would not recommend any of my colleagues to threaten to withhold payments which are part of an existing obligation the UK has.”

Mr Johnson has thundered into the lead in the dramatic Tory leadership race.

In the first round of voting among Conservative MPs, the former foreign secretary and leading Brexiteer scooped more than twice as many votes as his nearest rival.

His unexpectedly high level of backing from colleagues left other candidates scrabbling for second place.

Several were coming under intense pressure to withdraw from the race to allow a new prime minister to take charge of Brexit as soon as possible.

Mr Johnson was backed by 114 Tory MPs in the secret leadership ballot, held in a Commons committee room yesterday.

His nearest rival Jeremy Hunt won 43 votes, just ahead of Michael Gove on 37.

Other candidates were left trailing, with 27 votes for Dominic Raab, 23 for Sajid Javid, 20 for Matt Hancock and 19 for Rory Stewart.

Following the vote, hailed with joy by his father Stanley, Mr Johnson said: “Thank you to my friends and colleagues.

“I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go.”

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