Following the New Year reshuffle, Hammond is safe for now, but who is the betting markets’ favourite to replace him?
Like with Theresa May, there has been regular talk of Philip Hammond leaving Downing Street since last year’s election. Despite much media chatter of him being set to be replaced in 2017, like May, Hammond remains in his post. But for how long?
For much of the end of 2017, the favourite to replace him, according to Ladbrokes’ betting odds, was staunch Brexiteer Michael Gove, as reported by HITC. However, the current favourite, according to PaddyPower, is Jeremy Hunt, who although he now backs Brexit favoured a vote to remain in the European Union almost two years ago. The firm offers odds of 5/1 for Hunt, who has been Health Secretary for over five years.
Gove, whose political stock has risen since returning to the cabinet after May’s election failure, is the second favourite with odds of 6/1.
The third, fourth and fifth favourites respectively are Sajid Javid (7/1), Chris Grayling (9/1) and Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (9/11). They are then followed by David Gauke and Amber Rudd, each with odds of 10/1.
Could Jeremy Hunt become the next chancellor?
Ahead of the New Year reshuffle, there was chatter that Hunt could replace Damian Green as de factor deputy prime minister in the form of first secretary of state, as reported by the Mirror. Clearly, Hunt is on the up.
With this in mind, Hunt is a possible contender for the post, plus a move would have the added benefit of putting someone else in charge of healthcare. However, according to the Independent, the health secretary has stated that he thinks his current role will probably be his “last big job in politics”.
However, such a move could anger original Brexiteers who would like to see one of their lot on the job as Britain charts its economic course in a post-Brexit world.
Hunt may be the betting firm's favourite, but Gove probably still has the edge.