Speaking after an interview with the Chancellor on Radio 4’s Today programme, the presenter had intended to address Mr Hammond by his nickname “Spreadsheet Phil” but failed in the unfortunate blunder.
He swiftly corrected himself but the damage was already done.
Addressing another guest, he said: “Do you agree this is basically Spreads*** Phil – Spreadsheet Phil I should say, as he’s known in the Treasury – basically holding his nose and saying ‘there’ll be a row but it’ll pass’.”
Listeners soon took to Twitter to express their delight at the slip.
Robinson made the unfortunate slip after an interview with the Chancellor
Do you agree this is basically Spreads*** Phil – Spreadsheet Phil I should say, as he’s known in the Treasury – basically holding his nose and saying ‘there’ll be a row but it’ll pass’
“Could've sworn I just heard Nick Robinson make an unfortunate slip by calling Hammond ‘Spreads••• Phil’. New hashtag is born!” said one user while another added: “Oooops! Nick Robinson on #Radio4 #r4today ‘mis-spoke’ and called Phillip Hammond ‘Spreads••• Phil’ Ha ha ha!”
Another directed a tweet at the host and said: “GENIUS! @PHammondMP there you go, new name, FOR LIFE.”
The slip comes after Mr Hammond defended his decision to increase National Insurance contributions from the UK’s self-employed, calling it a move to make the country “match-fit” for Brexit.
He said the UK was facing “new challenges” that it needed to “rise to”.
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“I’m doing that within a very constrained environment where most taxes cannot be raised,” he told the radio station.
“Much of our spending is also ringfenced and committed and we are navigating within those confines to try and prepare Britain for Brexit, to make sure we’re match-fit for Brexit, to invest in Britain’s future and at the same time to provide much-needed resource for our public services.”
The controversial budget means self-employed workers, who pay the main rate of class 4 National Insurance contributions, will see an increase by 1 per cent to 10 per cent in April 2018.
An 11 per cent increase in April 2019 is set to follow, altogether raising £145million a year by 2021/22 at an average cost of 60p a week to those affected.
The Chancellor said: “The key circumstance that has changed in respect of the self-employed, is that they now have access to the full state pension on the same basis as employees, that is worth £1,800 a year for a self-employed person.
“And it means that the gap in national insurance contributions between the employed and the self-employed can no longer be justified.”