Is Hammond set to become Cameron’s John Reid?

Is Hammond set to become Cameron’s John Reid?

Should you take the 4/6 against him replacing Fox?

I’m still on holiday in Spain and was determined not to post until next Friday – but this afternoon’s resignation of Liam Fox has prompted me to my lap-top.

Ladbrokes were fast off the mark getting up a Fox replacement market and this has Philip Hammond as the 4/6 favourite. The price is a bit too tight for me but he is, surely, the minister best placed to take over. In that classic phrase he appears a “safe pair of hands”.

In many ways he reminds me of Labour’s John Reid who became Tony Blair’s all-purpose replacement whenever a cabinet minister had to resign in a hurry. Just look at the list of some of John Reid’s ministerial positions 1998-2007:-

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (After Mandelson’s second resignation)
Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council (Following Robin Cook’s resignation over Iraq)
Secretary of State for Health (Following Alan Milburn’s resignation)
Secretary of State for Defence (Replacing Geoff Hoon)
Home Secretary (After the sacking of Charles Clarke in the wake of the foreign prisoner release scandal)

Also being strongly tipped is Malcolm Rifkind who was Defence Secretary in the last Tory Government. His price has moved in sharply in the past two hours from 14/1 to 5/1.

UPDATE 1807: It’s just been announced that Hammond has got the job.


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