Theresa May faces Cabinet revolt over billions of pounds of legacy spending commitments in the dying days of her leadership
- They fear her plans will leave her successor with a massive funding headache
- Pledges in recent days add up to billions of pounds in proposed public spending
- Ministers are clubbing together to voice their opposition to what she is planning
Theresa May faces a frosty meeting of her Cabinet this morning as senior ministers join forces in a bid to stop the outgoing Prime Minister from binding the hands of her successor.
Cabinet ministers fear that Mrs May’s attempts to cement her legacy as she prepares to leave Downing Street in the week starting July 22 will leave either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt in a financial hole.
She has made numerous pledges in recent days, adding up to billions of pounds in proposed public spending, which whoever takes over will be under pressure to deliver on.
As a result, ministers are clubbing together to voice their opposition to the proposals with a reported pledge to boost education spending by £27billion in their crosshairs.
international Development Secretary Rory Stewart (right) arrives at what may be one of his last Cabinet meetings, with Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns. Mr Stewart has said he will not serve in a Boris Johnson Cabinet
Boris rival Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd (left) and his supporter Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (right) were also taking part in the weekly meeting
Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis, who is overseeing the party leadership election, arrived by car in the inclement weather in London
It was claimed last week that Mrs May wants to inject the cash into the education budget in a move which reportedly pushed Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, to the brink of quitting.
Now a group of Cabinet ministers, apparently led by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, are trying to block the ‘outrageous’ proposal.
The Sun reported that Mr Grayling is among a handful of ministers who have sided with Mr Hammond in the row with Number 10.
It is thought the group could even write to Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill to express their intense displeasure at Mrs May’s attempt to force through a major spending commitment immediately before she quits.
Meanwhile, Mrs May is also under pressure over her plans to hand all new fathers 12 weeks of paid paternity leave amid fears the policy is too expensive.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who has been outspoken on defence funding, arrived at the meeting earlier, as did Boris Johnson backer and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who came fourth in the Tory leadership race before being eliminated
Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington (left) who backed Rory Stewart in the leadership race and Commons’ Leader Mel Stride – who has only been in the post for a few weeks – were also at the meeting
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, a Theresa May loyalist, is said to be one of those opposing her spending plans
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox (left), a Brexiteer who backs Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a former Remain supporter
Larry the Downing Street cat keeps an eye on the comings and goings this morning
The PM has been urged to exclude high-earning dads from the policy to make it more affordable.
Mrs May wants to extend the amount of time new fathers can have off work after the birth of their child from the current two weeks to 12.
They could get the first four weeks on 90 per cent pay, and a further eight weeks on a standard flat rate of just shy of £150 a week.
But she has apparently been told by Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, that it will put too much strain on businesses.
As a result a consultation document setting out the terms of the policy is expected to suggest that new fathers who earn more a six figure salary should be barred, according to The Times.