Philip Hammond under pressure to spend to lure voters back to Tories

Some Conservatives blame austerity for handing seats to Labour in the general election but the chancellor is reluctant to borrow to match popular policies

Philip Hammond is resisting Theresa May’s demands for an end to austerity amid Treasury concerns that loosening the purse strings will lead to a black hole in the government’s finances.

The chancellor has used discussions with the prime minister since the election to press the case for a cautious approach to the public finances, despite the widespread view among Conservative MPs that seven years of spending cuts and pay restraint handed seats to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

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