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Philip Hammond replaces George Osborne as Chancellor in new cabinet

Incoming Prime Minister, Theresa May has confirmed Philip Hammond as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, replacing George Osborne within the new post-Brexit cabinet.

It appears Mr Osborne will play no role at the highest levels of Government under May’s regime, moving to the back benches after overseeing the UK’s post-recession finances under former Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Incoming Chancellor, Hammond, most recently served as foreign secretary from July 2014 to July 2016 and was also secretary of state for defence from 2011 to July 2014.

Hammond’s first major task will be to oversee the Autumn Statement in November, where the new Chancellor will have the ability to review the UK’s tax and spending policies. Hammond will also be in close liaison with Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, who is expected to announce a further cut to interest rates from 0.5 per cent to a record-low 0.25 per cent.

The government’s undoubted priority in the coming months will be to plot a course towards Article 50 and formal negotiations regarding the exit of the European Union. Article 50 seems unlikely to be triggered until substantive negotiations with the EU have been concluded.

Hammond has already ruled out the prospect of an emergency budget this summer, with the new government in place far quicker than was initially anticipated.

“What we’ve done over the last couple of weeks is move with significant speed to put in place a new government, which can start to deliver that certainty about the future,” said Hammond.

Elsewhere in Theresa May’s new cabinet, three key figures from the Brexit campaign have been handed senior roles in Government. Boris Johnson has been appointed foreign secretary, David Davis is secretary of state – responsible for taking the UK out of the EU – and Dr Liam Fox is trade secretary – responsible for negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world.

Image: Foreign Office

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