Philip Hammond helps Theresa May deal with PMQs Christmas curveball
The chancellor is pulling out all the stops he can to keep his place in the cabinet.
When Theresa May was hit by a coughing fit during her disastrous Conservative conference speech this year, Philip Hammond tried his best to help by offering a cough sweet.
At the final Prime Minister’s Questions of 2017, May was thrown a Christmas-themed curveball by Labour MP Clive Efford, who asked: "Can I suggest to the prime minister that in order to extract the maximum pleasure from the messy job of stuffing her goose, that she names it either Michael or Boris?"
And the chancellor was once again on hand to help the prime minister out of a potentially tricky spot.
As Labour MPs roared with laughter, Hammond was observed suddenly rising to his feet to pass on a brainwave to his boss. He told her: "It could be called Jeremy."
May then duly declared: "Can I say to the honourable gentleman I think I’ll have to be resisting the temptation to call the goose Jeremy."
Allies of Hammond suggest his actions are to be expected of a man who always does everything he can to help the prime minister. Others note that the latest helpful intervention comes as the prime minister’s aides are split over whether or not to sack the chancellor in a January reshuffle…