The Chancellor, who joked that he was the only member of the party not running in the forthcoming leadership contest, ridiculed Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for forming an ‘unintended suicide pact’ in 2016.
And Andrea Leadsom effectively ‘knifed herself’ in a ‘private suicide pact,’ he said during a speech in Washington.
The comments come as leading Tories begin to outline their bids for the leadership as the pressure mounts on Mrs May to resign.
The Chancellor, who joked that he was the only member of the party not running in the forthcoming leadership contest, ridiculed Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for forming an ‘unintended suicide pact’ in 2016
During the 2016 Tory leadership campaign after David Cameron stepped down, Michael Gove mounted a coup against Johnson, whom he was expected to back.
Leadsom dropped out of the race following an interview in which she implied that the fact she was a mother made her a better candidate than Mrs May.
Mr Hammond said there would be a ‘wider field’ during the forthcoming contest, the Daily Telegraph reported.
‘Now you may have something vaguely similar going on in the US at the moment – astonishing as it may seem we have even more candidates than you appear to have,’ he said.
‘If you remember last time this happened in 2016, Gove and Johnson knifed each other in an unintended suicide pact. Which left just Andrea Leadsom. Who? Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May in the running.
‘And then Andrea Leadsom knifed herself in a private suicide pact and Theresa May inherited the Prime Ministership without anybody ever casting a single vote for anything.’
During the speech, Mr Hammond also suggested that Britain would have left the European Union on Friday without a deal if it had not been granted an extension to Brexit.
‘Things have been getting a little frazzled in Westminster just lately and to be frank I’m quite delighted to be here with you tonight and I’m more than delighted that we are not leaving the European Union tonight,’ he said.
‘In fact, if things had not gone right on Wednesday it would have been about half an hour ago that we formally left the European Union.’
He also joked about the fact that Britain remained in the EU a year since his last Washington visit.
‘It’s actually a whole year since I’ve been here due to the fact that we have a small parliamentary majority my wings have been clipped over the last 12 months,” he said.
‘And a lot can happen in a year, but some things haven’t changed… We still haven’t left the European Union. You still haven’t built the wall.’