UK's Hammond at Odds With Trade Chief on Brexit Transition

Chancellor claims driving trains is so easy 'even a woman could do it'

Chancellor claims driving trains is so easy 'even a woman could do it'

Asked if there was now a fight under way within the Cabinet to succeed May as leader and Prime Minister, Hammond said: "I certainly hope not".

In his BBC interview, Hammond refused to say whether he'd told the cabinet that public-sector workers are overpaid, though he argued that with benefits such as employers' pension contributions, they're on average about 10 percent better off than those in the private sector.

He said he was keen to see more female train drivers, and accused rail unions of keeping women out of the workforce.

"Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda I've tried to advance over the past few weeks", Mr Hammond said.

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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.

Sarah Newton, the Home Office minister, brushed aside what she called "tittle-tattle" and "hearsay" but noted: "I don't think anyone should be leaking cabinet meetings; that's thoroughly unprofessional".

Meanwhile, the Treasury confirmed that Hammond said public sector workers receive a "10% premium" in income over private sector workers, but denied his use of the word "overpaid".

"But what I would say is this and I've been saying this since I was transport secretary, it is a disgrace that 95 per cent of train drivers are men".

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The second round of Brexit negotiations take place in Brussels on Monday.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told the Sunday Politics that Labour could seek to retain full membership of both bodies. May, who's already said she'll step down at some point, should "keep going", Duncan Smith said, and those agitating for a leadership election should "shut up". "It is absolutely clear that businesses, where they have discretion over investment, where they can hold off, are doing so and you can understand why, they are waiting for more clarity about what the future relationship with Europe will look like", he said.

'That caused some general astonishment.

According to The Sunday Times report, Mr Hammond said that, with their pensions were taken into account, public sector workers were "overpaid", and that train drivers were "ludicrously overpaid". One can only wonder what excuse is he going to give when presented with the EU Brexit payment, a figure bandied at anything upwards of some £75 Billion, and more importantly how we are actually going to pay the bill.yet another round of austerity cuts?

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Mr Hammond said: "Public-sector pay raced ahead of private-sector pay after the crash in 2008-09".

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