May 17, 2017 / 7:35 AM / 4 months ago

UK's Hammond says reports of rift with PM May's staff "tittle tattle"

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday that he would not deny he had occasionally sworn at members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s staff, but dismissed reports of a deeper rift with her team as “tittle tattle”.

Earlier this month The Times newspaper had reported that relations between the teams of the two most senior members of the British government had worsened after a series of disagreements over policy and presentation ahead of a June 8 election.

“This is tittle tattle, I don’t recognise any of this stuff. It’s media tittle tattle,” Hammond said in a BBC radio interview.

Asked if he wished to deny there had been angry phone calls, Hammond said: “I‘m not going to say I’ve never occasionally sworn but I work extremely well and closely with Theresa May’s team.”

Hammond also declined to give details about the Conservative Party’s plans for the public finances ahead of the publication of their manifesto, but said the broad plan remained to get the public finances back into balance. (Reporting by David Milliken and Estelle Shirbon)

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