Philip Hammond

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Person.png Lord Hammond of Runnymede   Powerbase WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence.jpg
BornPhilip Anthony Hammond
4 December 1955
Epping, Essex
Alma materUniversity College (Oxford)
ReligionChurch of England
SpouseSusan Williams-Walker
PartyConservative Party
British Conservative politician

Employment.png Chancellor of the Exchequer Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
13 July 2016 - 24 July 2019
Preceded byGeorge Osborne
Succeeded bySajid Javid

Employment.png Secretary of State for Defence

In office
14 October 2011 - 15 July 2014
Preceded byLiam Fox
Succeeded byMichael Fallon

Employment.png Secretary of State for Transport Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
11 May 2010 - 14 October 2011
Preceded byAndrew Adonis
Succeeded byJustine Greening

Employment.png Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
2 July 2007 - 11 May 2010
Preceded byTheresa Villiers
Succeeded byLiam Byrne

Employment.png Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

In office
6 December 2005 - 2 July 2007
Preceded byMalcolm Rifkind
Succeeded byChris Grayling

Employment.png Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
10 May 2005 - 6 December 2005
Succeeded byTheresa Villiers

Not to be confused with Philip Hammond (academic).

Philip Hammond is a British Conservative politician who was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in Theresa May's new government on 13 July 2016.[1] He resigned on 24 July 2019, when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[2]

On 5 November 2019, Philip Hammond tweeted:

"It is with great sadness that I am today announcing my decision to stand down as Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge at the forthcoming General Election."[3]

He now sits in the House of Lords.

Early life

Hammond was born in Epping, Essex the son of a civil engineer. He was educated at Brookfield Junior School, and Shenfield School (now Shenfield High School) in Brentwood, Essex. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, University of Oxford, and graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

Hammond joined the medical equipment manufacturers Speywood Laboratories Ltd in 1977, becoming a director of Speywood Medical Limited in 1981.[4] In 1982, an automatic electrocardiograph electrode manufacturing plant figured among his notable achievements. He left in 1983 and, from 1984, served as a director in Castlemead Ltd. From 1993 to 1995, he was a partner in CMA Consultants and, from 1994, a director in Castlemead Homes.[5] He had many business interests including house building and property, manufacturing, healthcare, and oil and gas. He undertook various consulting assignments in Latin America for the World Bank in Washington D.C., and was a consultant to the Government of Malawi from 1995 until his election to Parliament.

Member of Parliament (1997–)

Hammond was the chairman of the Lewisham East Conservative Association for seven years from 1989 and contested the 1994 Newham North East by-election following the death of sitting Labour MP Ron Leighton, losing to Labour's Stephen Timms by 11,818 votes. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 General Election for the newly created Surrey seat of Runnymede and Weybridge. He won the seat with a majority of 9,875 and has remained its MP since. He made his maiden speech on 17 June 1997.

In 2009 it emerged that Hammond had claimed just £8 short of the maximum allowance for a second home in London from 2007 to 2008 even though he lived in the commuter belt town of Woking. As a result of this criticism, Hammond said he would pay back any profit on the future sale of his second home to the public purse.[6]

Shadow Cabinet (2005–2010)

In Parliament he served on the Environment, Transport and the Regions Select Committee from 1997 until he was promoted by William Hague as front bench Spokesman for Health. He was moved to become Spokesman for Trade and Industry by Iain Duncan Smith in 2001, and later transferred to Shadow Office of the Deputy Prime Minister responsibilities by Michael Howard in 2003. Howard promoted Hammond to the Shadow Cabinet following the 2005 General Election as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Following the election of David Cameron later in 2005, he became the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He was moved back to the role of Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in David Cameron's reshuffle following Gordon Brown's accession to the premiership.

Transport Secretary (2010-2011)

Philip Hammond was appointed Secretary of State for Transport following the formation of the Coalition Government on 12 May 2010, a position he held until 14 October 2011. On 28 September 2011, he announced that the Government was to initiate a consultation later that year on raising the speed limit on motorways from 70 mph to 80 mph, with a view to introducing the new limit in 2013.[7]

Defence Secretary (2011-2014)

Hammond became Secretary of State for Defence on 14 October 2011 when Liam Fox resigned.[8] As Secretary of State for Defence, Hammond became a member of the UK National Security Council.

In December 2011, he announced that women were to be allowed to serve on Royal Navy submarines. The first women officers began serving on Vanguard class submarines in late 2013. They will be followed by female ratings in 2015, when women should also begin serving on the new Astute class submarine.[9] It was also confirmed that the cost of the 'Operation Ellamy' (NATO bombing of Libya) was £212 million – less than was estimated – including £67 million for replacing spent munitions, all of which was expected to be met from HM Treasury's reserve.[10] At the start of Britain's military intervention in Libya, Chancellor George Osborne told MPs it was likely to cost tens of millions of pounds, raised to £260 million by the MoD as the action continued over the Summer.

In January 2012, the Ministry of Defence announced 4,200 job cuts in a second round of armed forces redundancies. The Army will see up to 2,900 job cuts, including 400 Gurkhas, while the RAF will lose up to 1,000 members and the Royal Navy up to 300. The job losses will account for some of the cuts announced under the Defence Review – intended to help plug the £38 billion hole in the defence budget left by the previous government. Hammond said the Government had "no choice but to reduce the size of the Armed Forces – while reconfiguring them to ensure they remain agile, adaptable and effective". Hammond said: "As we continue with the redundancy process we will ensure we retain the capabilities that our Armed Forces will require to meet the challenges of the future."[11]

The £38 billion "black hole" in MoD finances has been "dealt with" and the Department's "hand to mouth existence will come to an end", Hammond stated in February 2012. Ministers had even found £2.1 billion to be allocated to several major spending projects to be announced in the coming weeks. The money was to come from a combination of draconian cuts over the previous two years, tough bargaining with industry and a one per cent increase in the equipment budget. All three Services will benefit from the new-found cash that will be announced in the next wave of spending proposals – known as Planning Round 12 – by early next month. "New equipment and support contracts amounting to billions of pounds are likely to be unveiled," said a senior MoD official. "PR12 is expected to signal a change in culture at the MoD".[12]

In February 2012 Hammond said that the Falkland Islands do not face a "current credible military threat" from Argentina. He added that Britain had "no desire or intention to increase the heat" surrounding their sovereignty. Speaking in the House of Commons he said "despite media speculation to the contrary, there has been no recent change to force levels", adding "there is no evidence of any current credible military threat to the security of the Falkland Islands and therefore no current plan for significant changes to force deployments. However, Her Majesty's Government is committed to defending the right of the Falkland Islanders to self-determination and plans exist for rapid reinforcement of the land, sea and air forces in and around the islands, should any such threat appear."[13]

In August 2012 Hammond announced that senior positions within the "top-heavy" military would be cut by a quarter. Around 26 civilian and military head office posts will go and a new senior structure will come in from April 2013. The move was expected to save the Ministry of Defence around £3.8 million a year. Hammond said one in four posts from the ranks of Commodore, Brigadier, Air Commodore and above will go. Hammond said: "at a time when we are making difficult decisions about defence spending and have had to accept reductions across the board, we cannot ignore the volume of posts at the top. For too long the MoD has been top-heavy, with too many senior civilians and military. Not only does this new structure reduce senior staff posts by up to a quarter in the next two years, but it allows clear strategic priorities to be set for the Armed Forces".[14]

Four weeks before the London Olympic Games of 2012 the security company G4S announced it could not provide the number of security staff it had originally undertaken to deploy for the Games. Hammond solved the problem by calling up 5,000 members of the Armed Forces making good the shortfall. Their performance attracted widespread praise. Afterwards Hammond told The Independent the issue had taught him an important lesson: "I came into the MoD with a prejudice that we have to look at the way the private sector does things to know how we should do things in Government", he said. "But the story of G4S and the military rescue is quite informative. I'm learning that the application of the lean commercial model does have relevance in areas of the MoD but, equally, you can't look at a warship and say, 'How can I bring a lean management model to this?' – because it's doing different things with different levels of resilience that are not generally required in the private sector."[15]

Foreign Secretary

On 15 July 2014, Hammond was appointed Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. Newspapers highlighted his "Eurosceptic" credentials, and his confidence that Britain could "get a deal" on reforming the European Union. He has said he would vote in a putative referendum for a British exit from the European Union unless there were changes in the relationship.[16]

In August 2014, Hammond said he was surprised at the sudden resignation of Baroness Warsi, who wrote of "great unease" under his leadership of the Foreign office.[17]

In March 2015, speaking as the minister responsible for the spy agencies, he suggested that terror "apologists" must share blame in terrorist acts, saying "But a huge burden of responsibility also lies with those who act as apologists for them."[18]

In May 2015 he introduced the European Union Referendum Bill 2015–16 into the House of Commons.

Condemning Russia

On 8 July 2015, Hammond condemned the defeat by Russia at the UN Security Council of his four-page draft resolution S/2015/508,[19] that was inter alia to apply the genocide label to the Srebrenica massacre of Moslem Bosniaks in 1995.[20] Angola, China, Nigeria and Venezuela abstained,[21] while the draft had been proposed by Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, criticised the British wording as "confrontational and politically-motivated", arguing that it unfairly singled out Bosnian Serbs for committing war crimes in a conflict in which all three ethnic groups were the victims of atrocities. Hammond stated: "We are disappointed that our Resolution to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica was vetoed today."[22] 11

Agreement with Iran

On 14 July 2015, after several years of on-again-off-again negotiations, the P5+1 reached agreement in Vienna with Iran over its nuclear programme.[23] Hammond presented the deal in Commons the next day,[24] and was in Jerusalem the following day to placate Benjamin Netanyahu in a press conference labelled as "tense". Netanyahu took issue with the statement of Hammond that[25]

The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv? The answer, of course, is that Israel doesn’t want any deal with Iran. Israel wants a permanent state of stand-off and I don’t believe that’s in the interests of the region.

The Israelis wondered why Britain had not condemned Iran for the previous week's Qods Day rally at which Iranian demonstrators chanted: "Death to Israel." Hammond responded that ""We will judge Iran not by the chants on the streets of Tehran, but by the actions of its government." In his Commons statement, Hammond said that he planned to reopen the embassy in Tehran, which was stormed by protesters in 2011:

I very much hope that we will be in a position to reopen our respective embassies before the end of this year, and I look forward to going to Tehran to do so.

Hammond wants to reduce migration from Poland and other European Union countries, especially from the former Eastern Bloc.[26]

Condoling with Russia

On 31 October 2015, a Russian Airbus carrying tourists returning to St Petersburg from holiday in Egypt exploded over the Sinai Desert with the loss of all 224 passengers and crew. The next day Prime Minister David Cameron called President Putin to say how sorry he was about this terrible tragedy and that Britain shared the pain and grief of the Russian people.[27] Philip Hammond signed the Metrojet Flight 9268 book of condolences at the Russian Embassy in London.[28]

Although US Secretary of State John Kerry was reported to have spoken to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and conveyed sympathies from the entire American people, President Barack Obama had not followed suit, fuelling suspicions that the CIA might have been involved in sabotaging the flight. Asked whether President Obama had personally offered his condolences Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters:

"Perhaps this should be explained not by the Kremlin. For us the main thing now is the work to assist families who lost their loved ones in the plane crash, and we are focusing on this."[29]

On 10 November 2015, Foreign Secretary Hammond warned that if the Metrojet flight had been brought down by an explosive device planted by ISIS, or somebody inspired by them, then the security regime at airports worldwide would need to be drastically toughened up.[30]

Branding the UNWGAD

On 5 February 2016, Hammond branded as "ridiculous" the ruling by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that Julian Assange be allowed to go free, as the Wikileaks founder demanded the decision be respected. Assange - who faces extradition to Sweden over a rape claim, which he denies - claimed asylum in London's Ecuadorean embassy in 2012. The UNWGAD panel said he had been "arbitrarily detained" and should get compensation, but Hammond rejected the decision, accusing Assange of evading justice.

Assange said the comments by foreign secretary Hammond were "beneath" the minister's stature and "insulting" to the UN, while Ecuador's foreign minister criticised the UK for rejecting the panel's decision. Ricardo Patiño said the UK had violated "important articles of the Universal Human Rights Convention and of the International Treaty on Political and Civil rights".[31]

In an article entitled "Hammond egg on his face", John Goss provided a link to the biographies of the UN panel[32] and pointed out that the only person commenting adversely on these experts' credentials and opinions is someone least qualified to do so: Philip Hammond. Goss went on to say:

"I am working on a draft to petition parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, Philip Hammond himself, and Jeremy Corbyn to compel Hammond to obey international law. The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and Hammond is trying to make a mockery of that body."[33]

Personal life

Hammond married Susan Carolyn Williams-Walker on 29 June 1991. They have two daughters and a son,[34][35] and live in Send, Surrey, and have another home in London. Hammond's wealth is estimated between £7.5 million[36] and £9 million.[37]


Events Participated in

Munich Security Conference/20123 February 20125 February 2012Germany
The 48th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/20131 February 20133 February 2013Germany
The 49th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/201431 January 20142 February 2014Germany
The 50th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/20156 February 20158 February 2015Germany
"400 high-ranking decision-makers in international politics, including some 20 heads of state and government as well as more than 60 foreign and defence ministers, met in Munich to discuss current crises and conflicts."
Munich Security Conference/201612 February 201614 February 2016Germany
The 52nd Munich Security Conference
WEF/Annual Meeting/201717 January 201720 January 2017Switzerland2950 known participants, including prominently Bill Gates. "Offers a platform for the most effective and engaged leaders to achieve common goals for greater societal leadership."


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  1. "Philip Hammond made Chancellor in Theresa May's first Cabinet appointment"
  2. "Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Who's in his cabinet?"
  3. "I am today announcing my decision to stand down at the forthcoming General Election"
  4. "Debretts Profile"
  5. "Castlemead Homes"
  12. "MoD balances books first time in four decades"
  15. "G4S proves we can't always rely on private sector, says minister"
  16. "Philip Hammond: I am serious about reforming EU" 15 Jul 2014
  19. "United Nations - S/2015/508 - Security Council - Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America: draft resolution", 8 July 2015
  20. "Russia blocks UN resolution condemning Srebrenica massacre as genocide", 8 July 2015
  21. "UN News Centre: UN officials recall 'horror' of Srebrenica as Security Council fails to adopt measure condemning massacre", 8 July 2015
  22. "Foreign Secretary statement following UN Security Council vote on Srebrenica resolution", 8 July 2015
  23. "Iran nuclear deal: agreement reached in Vienna - as it happened", 14 July 2015
  24. "Benjamin Netanyahu intends to fight Iran nuclear deal all the way, says Philip Hammond", 15 July 2015
  25. "Netanyahu rebuffs Philip Hammond over Iran deal", 16 July 2015
  26. "Hammond sees schedule tight for Britain to vote on EU next year". Reuters. 22 September 2015.
  27. "David Cameron: UK shares Russia's grief after plane crash in Egypt"
  28. "Signing the Metrojet Flight 9268 book of condolences at the Russian Embassy"
  29. "Kremlin attaches no importance to absence of condolences from Obama over plane crash"
  30. "We failed to learn from Lockerbie, and repeat our mistakes at peril"
  31. "Julian Assange decision by UN panel ridiculous, says Hammond"
  32. "The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention - Members"
  33. "Hammond egg on his face"
  34. "Conservative Party"
  35. "BBC News: Vote 2001"

External links

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