Philip Hammond defends claims he called public-sector workers 'overpaid'

Chancellor claims driving trains is so easy 'even a woman could do it'

The chancellor has been criticised for the sexist remark

Pressed on why people were leaking details, Mr Fox said: "I think there's too much self-indulgence and I think people need to have less prosecco and have a longer summer holiday".

Mr Hammond, a former transport secretary, was said to have made his remark during a discussion on transport policy.

"Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda that I have ... tried to advance of ensuring we achieve a Brexit focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs and making sure that we can have continued rising living standards in the future", he said.

Hammond's confidence in the consensus over such an arrangement, whereby there would be a longer period to negotiate the terms of leaving than the two year period offered by triggering Article 50, comes after new meetings between business and government commenced. "If there is I am no part of it".

The paper said it had five sources for the story, the latest in a series of hostile briefings against the Chancellor, which threatened to fuel growing public anger over the Government's continuing 1% public sector pay cap.

The Chancellor said it was "a simple fact" that wages for employees of the UK's public services earned about 10 per cent more than private sector staff when "very generous" pensions contributions were taken into account.

Appearing on the Sunday politics show, Britain's most senior finance minister denied that he had made the train driver comments - but did not contest his comments over public sector workers.

Distressed ambulance driver explains how he faces extreme financial struggles, thanks to the public sector pay freeze. Taking public sector pay before pensions contributions - that gap has now closed.

He didn't say public sector workers were overpaid.

He has also warned of the need for a lengthy transitional period after Britain leaves the European Union to prevent business falling off a "cliff edge".

Mr Hammond said the majority of his colleagues now recognised this was "the right and sensible way to go". I think he just did, you know. "It has a timetable to it and you can't afford for that timetable to be broken into by a Conservative leadership election, so we have to get through that first and foremost".

"New customs systems, new migration systems, these things can't be magicked up overnight". "We are not going to be talking a couple of months".

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Tory grandee Iain Duncan Smith demanded an end to the damaging infighting today.

Hammond is a leading advocate in U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet for a so-called soft Brexit, in contrast to campaigners for a clean break such as Fox. I think the public expect us to be disciplined and effective and the only people smiling at this are in Brussels and Paris'.

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