Philip Hammond, the Tory chancellor, likes to present himself as a safe pair of hands. He’s nicknamed “spreadsheet Phil”. Boring maybe, but reliable. But he’s been responsible for two of the biggest media pratfalls of the present government, which is saying something.
Some £340 million for a painting by Leonardo da Vinci—and possibly a fake one at that—may seem a touch steep. But it’s a small price to pay for billionaires keen to hide away their cash.