It's the way he tells 'em - Philip Hammond's Budget jokes in full

PUBLISHED: 16:13 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 22 November 2017

The Chancellor enjoys a chuckle at his own jokes


Philip Hammond attempted to challenge his image as a grey spreadsheet obsessive in his Budget speech with a string of jokes. So how did he do?

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The Chancellor peppered his annual speech on the nation's finances with a number of one-liners. We put them all in one place so you can avoid the dull bits...

"Mr Deputy Speaker, I'm being tempted by something a little more exotic here, but I'm going to stick to plain water. I did take the precaution of asking my right honourable friend to bring a packet of cough sweets just in case."

Here Mr Hammond riffs on a recent speech by his boss, Theresa May, in which she collapsed into a coughing fit - a speech which, combined with a collapsing set and a prankster attempting to hand her a P45, heaped further national and international humiliation on her already beleaguered premiership. Mrs May brandished a packet of sweets at the line, indicating she too saw the inherent comedy in her public indignity.

"Mr Deputy Speaker, I shall first report to the House on the economic forecasts of the independent OBR. This is the bit with the long, economicky words."

This joke refers to recent reports Environment Secretary Michael Gove had been "auditioning" for Mr Hammond's job by using "long economicky words" during a Cabinet meeting, and has some fun with the fact that the Chancellor is held in such low regard by many of his colleagues that they are prepared to openly pitch for his position in front of him.

"Mr Speaker, if they carry on like that, there'll be plenty of others joining Kezia Dugdale in saying 'I'm Labour... get me out of here!"

Here Mr Hammond jokes about the former Scottish Labour leader signing up for a celebrity reality show he is, at best, only very vaguely familiar with.

"More maths for everyone. Mr Speaker, don't let anyone say I don't know how to show the nation a good time."

This joke sees the Chancellor josh with the fact he has a public reputation as a dour, spreadsheet-obsessed stuffed shirt who is almost certainly the only person in the country to enjoy the Today programme's daily puzzle.

"Knowledge of maths is key to the high-tech, cutting edge jobs in our digital economy, but it is also useful in less glamorous roles such as frontline politics."

To be fair, it is not entirely clear if this is a joke or not.

"Mr Deputy Speaker, there is perhaps no technology as symbolic of the revolution gathering pace around us as driverless vehicles ... They surely don't want me to make that joke about the Labour Party again.

"I know Jeremy Clarkson doesn't like them but there are many other good reasons to pursue this technology so today we step up our support for it.

"Sorry Jeremy, not the first time you've been snubbed by Hammond and May."

This triumvirate of tricks refer to the co-presenters of Amazon Prime's The Grand Tour, and in particular Mr Clarkson's weekend claim that he was "almost killed" by a driverless car. The third line makes merry with the fact that two of the trio share surnames with the Prime Minister and Chancellor, a joke which, as Times columnist Hugo Rifkind pointed out, most people in the country had had ample opportunity to enjoy 18 months ago.

So, should Mr Hammond ready himself for a slot on Live at the Apollo if the Brexiteers get their way and dispatch him from No 11 very soon? Well, he might want a back-up plan...

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