— TSE (@TSEofPB) June 25, 2017
The Sunday Times report
Philip Hammond is being lined up to replace Theresa May as prime minister as part of an alliance with David Davis to deliver Brexit safely.
Ministers said this weekend that Hammond should be anointed as leader before October’s party conference provided he vows to stand down after two years so that someone else can lead the Conservatives into the next election.
A former cabinet colleague has claimed the chancellor believes he is equipped to do the job. “He told me that if Theresa May could be prime minister, so could he.”
The elevation of Hammond — dubbed “Spreadsheet Phil” — would be greeted with resistance by some Eurosceptics who are suspicious of his interventions demanding a soft Brexit that puts jobs and business before controls on immigration.
But ministers believe that can be surmounted if he appoints Davis, the Brexit secretary, deputy prime minister and makes clear he is a caretaker leader.Under one plan gaining traction with Tory MPs, May’s successor would announce that there would be a general election after Brexit in 2019 in which the public could have a say on the final deal.
If I were Philip Hammond, I’d offer to be Prime Minister for two years, then say he’ll trigger a Tory leadership contest in 2019 in which he’d stand rather than be a placeholder Prime Minister that Mrs May is now.
What is clear following Mrs May’s calamitous decision to hold a snap election, which turned into the greatest strategic blunder since the fall of Singapore, which saw her lose David Cameron’s majority is going to cost Mrs May her job, it is now a matter of when she is toppled, not if.
At the time of writing you can get around 7/1 on Hammond as next PM and with some newer bookies you can get 8/1 on him as next Tory leader, and 5/2 on Mrs May not to be PM on the 1st of October with William Hill.