Chancellor Philip Hammond has been the talk of the nation today after his controversial budget speech claimed that austerity is ‘coming to an end’.
But it was his choice of china that got thousands riled up on Twitter after pictures emerged of him drinking from a personalised mug.
Mr Hammond was pictured looking over his budget papers in his Downing Street office yesterday with a designer Emma Bridgewater cup in hand with the words ‘Chancellor Philip Hammond’ written on it.
The images were shared thousands of times on social media today, where Twitter users had mixed views on his choice of teacup.
Chancellor Philip Hammond was pictured reading over his budget papers with a personalised Emma Bridgewater mug yesterday. The images sent Twitter into meltdown
Former No 10 aide Will Tanner claimed that every Cabinet minister is sent one by Emma Bridgewater when they are appointed.
He tweeted: ‘It’s a rather good marketing thing, as this pre-Budget snap demonstrates.’
One person quipped that the mug was there ‘in case he forgets who he is and what he’s supposed to be doing all day’.
The mug was made by designer Emma Bridgewater and has the words ‘Chancellor Philip Hammond’ written on it
Another wrote: ‘What type of chancellor could possibly believe the public would fall for his robbing Peter to pay Paul #Budget2018you ask?
‘The type that has Philip Hammond Chancellor on his own mug.’
Others joked that they hoped the mug didn’t come at the expense of the taxpayer.
But one political journalist tried to diffuse the debate by sharing an image of Boris Johnson during his time as Foreign Secretary drinking from a similar Emma Bridgewater mug.
In his speech to the Commons today Mr Hammond promised billions of pounds will be pumped into the NHS, social care, mental health and defence, while the troubled Universal Credit benefits reforms will be bailed out with another £1billion of ‘transitional’ protections and £1.7billion in improved work allowances – effectively reversing cuts previously imposed by George Osborne.
The images (taken yesterday in his Downing Street office) were shared thousands of times on social media today, where Twitter users had mixed views on his choice of teacup
Former No 10 aide Will Tanner claimed that every Cabinet minister is sent a personalised mug by Emma Bridgewater (pictured on his Downing Street office desk) when they are appointed
Increases to tax thresholds will also be raised faster than previously promised – saving around 32 million workers up to £860 a year each, he said.
Mr Hammond said the giveaways were possible due to the ‘tough decisions’ the government had made over the past eight years – which had brought better growth forecasts and lower borrowing.
‘Their hard work is finally paying off and the era of austerity is finally coming to an end,’ he insisted.
The Chancellor is pictured delivering his budget 2018 speech to the Commons today
Philip Hammond posed with the famous red box outside No11 Downing Street today before delivering the speech