Is the UK getting ready for an election? 'I hope not,' Hammond says

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FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond stands outside 11 Downing Street before he delivers his budget statement in the House of Commons in London, Britain, October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday that he hoped his budget was not an attempt to prepare for another national election.

“I hope not,” he said when asked if his budget, which cut taxes and eased welfare curbs for poorer working families, was an attempt to prepare for an election.

In one of the most tumultuous periods in recent British political history, there have been four major votes in the previous four years: the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, the 2015 UK election, the Brexit referendum of 2016 and the snap election called by May last year.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Andy Bruce; editing by Michael Holden

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