Tuesday 29 October 2019 9:08 am

Philip Hammond: Government is blocking Brexit to 'create a narrative'

Philip Hammond has claimed the government is blocking Brexit in order to “create a narrative” about an obstructive parliament.

The former chancellor, who was sacked last month after going against Boris Johnson on a vote which effectively blocked a no deal, was scathing of the Prime Minister’s tactics.

He told the BBC’s Today programme: “It is the government itself which has been blocking Brexit. I think the government is trying to create a narrative that it is Parliament that is blocking Brexit but that is simply untrue.”

Hammond added: “We should be getting the [Withdrawal Agreement Bill] through Parliament.”

Hammond, who abstained in the election vote last night, is expected to adopt the same approach during today’s vote. However Johnson could be lucky fourth time if he wins over the SNP, who account for 35 MPs, and Liberal Democrats who have 19, by including a fixed date.

But Hammond warned against “blatant entryism” changing the face of the Conservative party.

He told the BBC: “I fear that the real narrative here is that the Vote Leave activists, the cohort who have seized control of Downing Street and to some extent Conservative HQ, wants this general election to change the shape of the Conservative Party.”

Hammond, who is not expecting to be reinstated ahead of any election, said he was not ready “to give up on my party just because a bunch of people from Vote Leave have been parachuted in and are now calling the shots.”

He added: “It really doesn’t matter how many times my party kicks me, abuses me, reviles me, they will not stop me being a Conservative.”

Main image: Getty