Theresa May slaps down Cabinet after ministers leak Brexit details in fight for leadership


The Prime Minister is set to intervene after a series of vicious leaks targeting Chancellor Philip Hammond.

She will use Tuesday’s regular Cabinet meeting to “remind” ministers to stop bickering and focus on their job of delivering for the public.

The attempt to instil Cabinet discipline comes after a series of newspaper headlines about Mr Hammond’s comments at last week’s Cabinet.

According to newspaper reports, Mr Hammond was slapped down by the PM for saying that women could “even” become train drivers – a claim he denied.

And a separate report said that he had told colleagues that public sector workers were overpaid compared to those in the private sector.

The row cultimated in a Daily Telegraph front page story quoting an unnamed minister accusing the Chancellor of trying to “f*** up” Brexit.

Mrs May’s spokesman refused to discuss the contents of the leaks at a press briefing today.

But he said: “Of course, Cabinet must be able to hold discussions of Government policy in private.

“The Prime Minister will be reminding her colleagues of that at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.”

The PM’s spokesman made clear she intends to assert her authority by telling colleagues to focus on their departmental responsibilities.

He told reporters: “I’m not going to get into speculation of who said what where and when. I’m not getting into anonymous quotes.

“What I would say is that the Government is all working together to deliver Brexit, which delivers on the will of the British people.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling attempted to play down suggestions of Cabinet splits over Brexit and criticised those who have been briefing about its meetings.

“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.

Mr Grayling said the suggestion that there were “profound and fundamental differences” between Cabinet ministers on Brexit were “a bit exaggerated”, but admitted: “We’re not a group of clones, we have discussions around the Cabinet table and outside Cabinet, we debate issues, we decide what’s right and then we get on with it.