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    Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

    UK MoD Reportedly Bans Hammond From Using Its Aircraft Over Unpaid Bills

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    The move comes as the Ministry of Defense desperately fights to avoid crippling cuts in a bitter spat with the Treasury.

    According to the Times, UK Chancellor of the  Exchequer Philip Hammond has been banned from flying on Royal Airforce (RAF) aircraft for consistently failing to settle his hefty bill.

    The Chancellor, along with other top British officials, has been using A109 helicopters and Bae 146 transport planes attached to №32 (The Royal) Squadron, which services the British VIPs from its base in Greater London.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davies all use the Squadron's transport on regular basis, yet always manage to pay on time.

    READ MORE: May's 'Dithering' on Airport Decision to Cost Britain Billions

    Over the past year, Hammond, who proves to be a somewhat more difficult customer, has used the military's aerial transport to make numerous international and domestic flights to over 20 destinations in his capacity as the Treasury's head.

    Just yesterday, the Chancellor embarked on an RAF jet for an official visit to Brussels, and he will be allowed to use the MoD's aircraft one more time this Friday for another trip to Europe.

    This will be the last time that Hammond is authorized to use the Airforce's transport until he settles a six-digit bill with the military.

    However, it seems that there may be more to the row than simply an outstanding bill, as the MoD and the Treasury have found themselves in opposing trenches over the controversial National Security Review, which has suggested further cuts to the military's budget.

    Secretary of Defense Gavin Williamson was reportedly "taken aback" by the proposed cuts that will further reduce the size of the Armed Forces, which is already at its lowest level in over 350 years

    READ MORE: Dividing the Divisions: Army 2020 Refine Could Mean Further Cuts to UK Military

    A source close to Williamson quoted by the Telegraph said that the Defense Secretary "does not feel like this is something that he can make any negative changes and feel all right about."

    "He is willing to take his message to the Treasury and we will see how much of an impact he makes," the source said.

    Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood threatened to resign if the cuts are implemented by Theresa May's Government.

    May is set to hold a meeting with both Hammond and Williamson late December to make a final judgment on the National Security Review's proposals and mediate between the two warring Ministers.


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    national security, budget cuts, ban, bill, helicopter, planes, British Army, UK Government, UK Treasury, UK Ministry of Defence, Theresa May, Gavin Williamson, Philip Hammond, London, United Kingdom
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