Philip Hammond pulls out of Mansion House speech

Jun 16, 2017, 00:49

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney will not deliver speeches at the annual Mansion House dinner this evening, as organisers cancelled the event in light of the tragic Grenfell Tower blaze.

The City of London Corporation announced the event was being cancelled nearly an hour after the chancellor had tweeted that he would not deliver his much-anticipated speech.

There is a precedent for cancelling the speech, a key event in the calendar of both the political and financial worlds, after George Osborne delayed it previous year following the murder of MP Jo Cox.

A Treasury spokesman told the BBC Hammond would deliver his speech "in the near future".

A potential announcement on the deal could be delayed due to diary commitments of both leaders, the BBC reported, as well as the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire in west London, which killed at least 12 several people on Wednesday.

Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, had been expected to talk to the audience about the importance of worldwide trade, just days before the Brexit talks get under way next week. He had been expected to warn against the dangers of a hard Brexit and, according to reports, urge the prime minister to put the economy at the heart of the talks to leave the EU.

A leading figure in the Remain campaign, he has previously said he wants the United Kingdom to prioritise "jobs, prosperity and business" rather than control of immigration in discussions.

The Chancellor was set to use his speech to reassure businesses they would still have access to investment funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) after Brexit.

"All thoughts are [with] those affected by the tragedy at Grenfell tower".

The Queen earlier said her "thoughts and prayers" are with families.

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