Theresa May to warn ministers against leaks

Brexit Secretary David Davis

Brexit Secretary David Davis

Safe pair of hands, facing the sack, second most powerful Philip in the land, fiscal hawk, Remoaner-in-chief, and now after the weekend's papers, tin-eared cabinet raconteur.

A separate story in The Sun claimed Mr Hammond told the same meeting that modern trains are so easy to drive that "even women can do it".

Hammond told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the government is becoming more convinced on the need for a transitional arrangement to be made, saying it would be "right and sensible both for the United Kingdom and EU".

"Five weeks ago the idea of a transition period was quite a new concept, I think now you would find that pretty much everybody around the cabinet table accepts that there will be some kind of transition", he told the BBC.

He said: "We have got to do this in a way that meets the concerns and requirements of both people who want a softer version of Brexit and those who campaigned hard to leave the EU".

He was pointing out that public sector earnings are still higher than those in the private sector, despite years of pay restraint after the credit crunch sent the economy into a tailspin.

You praise our public sector workers in times of crisis, and then you kick them in the teeth by voting down a pay rise for them.

What was more surprising - and impressive - was the way Number 10 was initially able to keep a lid on Cabinet ministers being unhelpful in public while the government was trying to ensure that it could actually exist through its negotiations with the DUP.

"I don't see these great divisions that are suggested to me in the Sunday newspapers and I have to say I think all of this is somewhat overplayed", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

PM insists Cabinet discussions must be kept private.

Hammond reportedly made the comments at a cabinet meeting last week where he refused to lift the 1% cap on government employees on the basis that they earn more than those in the private sector.

"We will need a long transition phase and the time needed does not diminish by pretending that this phase is just about "implementing" agreed policies as they will not all be agreed", he said. "We have a very good, competent leader in Theresa May". He said they were "overpaid".

Piling on the pressure, a report by the TUC published on Monday suggests that public sector workers are now thousands of pounds worse off since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, with paramedics and prison officers out of pocket by up to £3,800 (US$4,960) annually.

Hammond is said to have taken his comments further with regards to train drivers, who he allegedly described as "ludicrously overpaid", according to the report.

THERESA May is set to lay down the law with her Cabinet after a series of damaging leaks by senior ministers have targeted her Chancellor.

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