Hammond keeps his job as Chancellor of the Exchequeur

Philip Hammond is set to remain as Chancellor in the new Conservative minority government, retaining his position at the Treasury, alongside other senior ministers including foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit minister David Davis

After the bruising loss of a Conservative majority at the general election, prime minister Theresa May has made no changes at the very top of government in her preliminary ministerial reshuffle. She has confirmed that the Chancellor, as well as foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit secretary David Davies, home secretary Amber Rudd and defence secretary, Michael Fallon will all return to their roles.

Details on the remainder of more ministerial appointments will be announced over the weekend.

Hammond will return to his ministerial role in the Treasury and the priority will have to resurrect the remnants of the Finance Bill, much of which was abandoned when the snap election was called in April. This followed the fallout after Budget 2017 when Hammond was the architect of the ditched plan to raise national insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed.

The election forced a rushed Finance Bill, which saw the majority of measures stripped out of the final Act, leaving uncertainty for tax advisers and taxpayers, who are having to deal with new rules which came into force in April 2017 but have not been legislated.

There will be also be further short-term instability in the Treasury as the key minister responsible for Making Tax Digital, Jane Ellison, lost her seat in Battersea in London, so the cabinet shuffle will need to appoint a new financial secretary to the Treasury, the number three post in the department.

David Gauke, who was chief secretary to the Treasury and number two to Hammond in the previous administration, retained his seat in Tring and Berkhamsted with a 1% swing.

Hammond said he was 'pleased to be re-appointed so we can now get on and negotiate a Brexit deal that supports British jobs, business and prosperity'.

Minority

The Conservatives no longer have a majority having won 318 seats against Labour’s 262 MPs. A working majority requires 326 seats.

The final declared constituency seat, Kensington & Chelsea in central London, normally a very safe Conservative seat with a 7,000 plus majority at the 2015 election, was won by Labour. This followed a third count and the result was announced on Friday evening with Emma Dent Coad winning by 20 votes.

The loss of the majority means that the Conservatives will be reliant on a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on a confidence and supply deal but not an official coalition as happened in 2010 between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. First indications are that there will not be a formal deal, but a looser agreement, although the DUP is likely to require increased funding and investment into Northern Ireland as part of any arrangement. No further details are available.

Following an initial speech on the steps of Number 10 when the prime minister said she would stay for five years, which ignored the losses, May was forced after a few hours to apologise to Conservative MPs who lost their seats in the election last night.'I am sorry for all those candidates and colleagues were not successful,' she said.

Brexit

The Brexit negotiation talks are due to start on 19 June 2017.

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