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Tory reshuffle sees Hammond take work and pensions role

The Tories have reshuffled their front bench following David Cameron’s leadership victory, with Philip Hammond taking the work and pensions position and Theresa Villiers joining the Shadow Cabinet.

Hammond takes over from Malcolm Rifkind, who quit the Cabinet after not being offered the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Hammond was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and worked on the last Finance and Pensions Acts.

He also led Tory criticism of Chancellor Gordon Brown’s Sipp U-turn for its timing and potential to destabilise the property market.

Hammond says: “There is a very real risk now that thousands of properties that have been bought or committed to for Sipp investment will be sold, which could cause instability.”

Villiers takes on Hammond’s role after winning a seat in the May election. Before that, she was a Euro MP, where her work included scrutinising Mifid proposals.

Jackson Consultancy director Ralph Jackson says Villiers’ contribution could be invaluable to the IFA community over the next year as more details emerge about the extent to which the new EU directive will affect advisers.

George Osborne keeps his role as Shadow Chancellor and will lead a review of the economy that will challenge the Government on its finan- cial policies.

Jackson asks: “Will Hammond now follow Cameron’s strategy of consensual politics, looking for agreement with the LibDems and sections of the Labour Party and further isolating Gordon Brown on pensions?”

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