UK finance minister says would like to keep job after election

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond visits the Lyell Centre for Natural Environment Research, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Philip Hammond said he would like to keep his current job if the Conservative Party remains in power after next week’s election, declining to comment on reports that Prime Minister Theresa May plans to sack him.

Earlier on Friday the Telegraph newspaper quoted unnamed government ministers saying May wanted to remove Hammond if she wins a large parliamentary majority on June 8.

“I’m not going to comment on what the PM does on June 9,” Hammond told a BBC reporter when asked if he faced the sack.

Asked if he would still like to be finance minister after the election, Hammond replied: “Of course I would, that’s a silly question. We have a very big challenge ahead of us and I believe I can play a part in that, as all of my colleagues can.”

Britain starts almost two years of talks to leave the European Union later this month.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by David Milliken)