If Theresa May kicks out Hammond, who could replace him?
According to Inews, it is expected that the prime minister is on track to reshuffle her cabinet in the new year. So far, May has only tinkered around the edges, but a big reshuffle could give her the momentum she needs to make progress at home – and possibly in Europe.
With Brexit such a key issue, it is difficult to see May replacing David Davis. As for Boris Johnson, if May had secured the significant majority she desired, she would have the political capital to remove Johnson from the foreign office. But in the current circumstances, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where this would happen.
As for Philip Hammond, his autumn budget was widely viewed as reasonably successful, but out of all the top-level cabinet members his future looks to be the least certain.
5th - David Gauke
Gauke is hardly a household name, but he has been a key figure in the government ever since the coalition was formed with the Liberal Democrats back in 2010. Gauke has served as exchequer secretary to the treasury, financial secretary to the treasury and chief secretary to the treasury, three positions that highlight his economic experience and background. Furthermore, he currently serves as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
His economic government experience, as well as his current role as a secretary of state put him in a strong position to take over from Hammond.
Ladbrokes' odds for a Gauke premiership stand at 10/1, thus making him the fifth favourite.
4th - Amber Rudd
Before June’s election, Rudd was rumoured to be in line to replace Hammond at the treasury, as reported by the Telegraph, however, May’s ability to make major changes was limited by her failed bid to retain her majority, thus setting the alleged plan to one side.
Could Amber Rudd replace him? One of the main criticisms directed towards Hammond from the hard-Brexit wing of the party is soft stance on Brexit. A recent YouGov poll suggests that most Conservative members think Amber Rudd wants to keep the UK inside the union. In the game of balancing the many forces within her party, May would likely face some problems with such a decision.
Ladbrokes odds? 8/1.
3rd - Sajid Javid
Javid has long been tipped as one to watch, but his political career has stagnated somewhat in recent years. Following May’s rise to power, Javid moved sideways from state secretary of business to state secretary of communities and local government. However, the removal of Hammond could give Javid the chance to step forward into the spotlight.
Ladbrokes offer odds of 6/1 for Javid to move into Number 10.
2nd - Jeremy Hunt
Remarkably, despite criticisms over his handling of the NHS, Hunt’s political capital has increased substantially in recent days. According to I News, Hunt is widely seen as the favourite to replace Damian Green as first secretary of state. However, there’s every chance that May will not fill the position, and it’s about possible that Jeremy Hunt could end up as Britain’s next chancellor. Ladbrokes offer odds for this to happen of 6/1.
1st - Michael Gove
Paul Goodman of Conservative Home recently advocated for Michael Gove to replace Philip Hammond. In fact, Gove has long been the favourite to move into Number 11 following Hammond’s departure, as reported by HITC last month.
Ladbrokes currently offer odds of 4/1 for a Gove chancellorship.
The full list of odds can be accessed here. Odds are accurate as of 22nd December.