The FT’s excellent Westminster Blog is getting rather excited by a leaked version of the Tory conference agenda which has the session on the economy featuring an ‘appearance by “Hammond and Osborne”. (Or perhaps, it is just entering into the spirit of the silly season) Jim Pickard connects this to the speculation that Osborne might not end up as Chancellor after all. But I suspect that the explanation is actually rather more mundane: Hammond will deliver remarks early in the session before Osborne winds it up with the keynote speech on the economy.
That Osborne will end up as Chancellor, is - to borrow a phrase from Daniel Finkelstein -
“a nailed on certainty” barring some bizarre unforeseen event. However, I do expect that Phillip Hammond will be the most influential Chief Secretary in a long-time. He has a real appetite for the kind of close up, detailed work that will be needed to implement a cuts agenda.