Chancellor Philip Hammond took personal stake in food technology company months before it won share of £560,000 Government contract

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‘Philip Hammond took a personal stake in a food technology company just months before it won a share of a £560,000 Government grant and he became Chancellor, The Telegraph can disclose.

Mr Hammond, when he was Foreign Secretary, took the 15 per cent stake in Cambridgeshire-based Hydramach in October 2015, according to records at Companies House.

Months later – in April 2016 – Hydramach was one of eight companies which won the grant to develop low fat and low sugar soups, ready meals and sauces from Innovate UK, a tech start up quango run by the Department for Business.

Last night a former standards watchdog said Mr Hammond’s failure to make public his shareholding was “a serious failure” because “there is clearly a potential conflict of interest”.’

Read more: Chancellor Philip Hammond took personal stake in food technology company months before it won share of £560,000 Government contract