Prime Minister Liz Truss has sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer following the disastrous reception to last month’s tax-cutting budget.
The decision comes after unfunded tax cuts unveiled in the fiscal statement saw the pound tank and the price of mortgages and government debt surge.
Jeremy Hunt, the former Tory Health Secretary, has been appointed to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor and will take up residence at 11 Downing Street.
Friday 14 October 2022 13:17, UK
By Bill Heaney
Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked as chancellor three weeks after his mini-budget unleashed chaos in the economy.
He was appointed to the role by Prime Minister Liz Truss only 38 days ago.
Mr Kwarteng’s downfall was set in motion by the mini-budget on 23 September, in which he announced £45bn in unfunded tax cuts.
The mini-budget pushed the pound to a record low against the dollar, sent the cost of government borrowing and mortgage rates up and led to an unprecedented intervention by the Bank of England.
In Mr Kwarteng’s letter to Ms Truss, he said: “You have asked me to stand aside as your chancellor. I have accepted.”
He said he accepted the job “in full knowledge that the situation we faced was incredibly difficult, with rising global interest rates and energy prices”.
But he said the PM’s “vision of optimism, growth and change was right” and “following the status quo was simply not an option”.
Alex Cole-Hamilton calls for a General Election
Responding to the news that Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked as Chancellor, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, right, said: “This mustn’t just be the end of Kwarteng’s disastrous chancellorship, it should be the death knell of the Conservatives’ reckless mismanagement of our economy. We owe it to the households, individuals and businesses up and down Scotland, who have been hit hard by this crisis, to take firm action now.
“Across Scotland, people are angry, fed up and worried about the future. Most of all, they are furious that Conservative MPs seem to think this is an acceptable way to conduct the government of our country in these difficult times.
“Enough is enough. It started with Boris Johnson failing our country, and now Liz Truss is trashing our economy. It’s time for us to have our say in a general election.
“Liz Truss seems determined to push economic instability. She sacked a minister for introducing her own policy, a policy that led to soaring mortgage rates and market chaos. On top of that, she’s now decided she doesn’t like cuts to corporation tax but has brought in a chancellor who loves them.
“This Tory government has plummeted public support to some of its lowest-ever levels and caused financial misery for millions up and down the country.
“Change is in the air; it’s time for new hope. That starts with a general election to get both Truss and the Tories out of power.”
Picture top of page: Jeremy Hunt has been handed what some might say is a poisoned chalice by Prime Minister Liz Truss.