Kwasi Kwarteng had to cut his trip to Washington DC short as PM Liz Truss was about to tell him he was no longer in the job. The Chancellor has spent the last few days at the IMF trying to convince the world leaders that what he and Liz Truss are trying to do isn’t going to cause a financial crisis.
As an antidote for the turmoil caused by the mini-budget and the backlash on the major tax-cutting policies was not found, Truss chose to save herself and fire Kwasi for implementing the policies to the precise dot and comma she campaigned on.
As Kwasi Kwarteng landed in London around 10:30 this morning, Truss made one of her closest political allies the shortest-serving chancellor in British history next to McLaren. Kwarteng served only for 38 days.
Despite the public humiliation, Kwasi Kwarteng wrote a magnanimous letter to Truss. “You have asked me to stand aside as your Chancellor, I have accepted. ” In reply, Liz Truss wrote they shared the same vision and “I’m deeply sorry to lose you from the Government.”
Enter Jeremy Hunt.
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, whose vote in the Leadership Contest collapsed early in the race is the new Chancellor. He campaigned on lowering corporation tax and is in favor of an increase in defense spending.
The Prime Minister gave an eight minute press conference this afternoon announcing another U-turn over the mini budget to help to calm the markets. The corporation tax will now rise from 19 to 25% in April 2023.
Asked by the press about her credibility as Prime Minister and why she was remaining in the job, Truss failed to provide any strong argument and said repeatedly she was there to ensure economic stability.
Labour said the government is in utter meltdown and a change of government was needed. In an interview for the Guardian, Keir Starmer has called for a general election. “Change in personnel at the top of the Tory party is not the change we need. We need a change of government,” said Starmer.
Does Liz Truss have the credibility to be Prime Minister of the UK? Plenty of her own backbenches are not convinced. The jury is still out.