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Budget is not paving the way for a general election

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Theresa May has denied claims the budget is paving the way for an election, saying it would “not be in the national interest”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s yearly snapshot of the nation’s finances – which contained tax cuts and spending hikes – has sparked speculation another poll could be on the horizon.

But the prime minister rejected such talk, saying: “We are not preparing for another general election.

“That would not be in the national interest.”

Mr Hammond has also played down the prospect, telling Sky News: “I’ve heard some commentators making this observation, but that’s now how I’ve approached the budget.

“I’ve approached this budget in terms of delivering to the British people a clear view of the better times that are ahead as our economy and public finances turn the corner.”

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