Kwasi Kwarteng sacked: Liz Truss sacks her finance minister over mini-budget chaos

Kwasi Kwarteng sacked: Liz Truss sacks her finance minister over mini-budget chaos

UK finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng has paid the price for the chaos unleashed by his mini-budget as he was sacked by Liz Truss.

he Chancellor flew back early from International Monetary Fund talks in Washington on Friday to be informed of his fate in a brief meeting with the Prime Minister.

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British Prime Minister Liz Truss walks outside Number 10 Downing Street Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay/File Photo

In a letter published this afternoon, Mr Kwarteng he was asked to step down. He was in the role for 38 days.

In the letter to Ms Truss he said it was an honour to serve her and said it was an “incredibly difficult” situation they has inherited.

“However, your vision of optimism, growth and change was right,” he wrote.

“As I have said many times in the past weeks, following the status quo was simply not an option.

“For too long this country has been dogged by low growth rates and high taxation – that must still change if this country is to succeed.”

Mr Kwarteng described his medium term fiscal Plan, to be unveiled on 31 October, as “crucial” and said Ms Truss’s vision “is the right one”.

“Your success is this country’s success and I wish you well.”

Ms Truss will stage a press conference in Downing Street later on Friday in which she is expected to announce major changes to Mr Kwarteng’s £43bn tax giveaway.

It comes as senior Conservatives are holding talks about replacing Liz Truss herself, with a joint ticket of former leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, according to reports.

Just weeks after Ms Truss became prime minister, MPs are said to be plotting to appoint a unity candidate in an unchallenged “coronation” of a new Tory leader.

It comes as Ms Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng had been set to make a U-turn over the corporation tax cuts which were a key pledge of her leadership election campaign.

One Conservative former minister described the move as “desperate” and said it would not be enough to salvage Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng’s careers.

“A prime minister and chancellor reacting to the markets, the centrepiece of their core narrative for the economy shredded and no credibility left,” the MP told The Independent. “It is impossible for them to come back from this.”

Another MP told The Times: “Rishi’s people, Penny’s people and the sensible Truss supporters who realise she’s a disaster just need to sit down together and work out who the unity candidate is. It’s either Rishi as prime minister with Penny as his deputy and foreign secretary, or Penny as prime minister with Rishi as chancellor.”

Another senior Tory told the newspaper “a coronation won’t be that hard to arrange” and could be achieved by raising the number of nominations required to run for election.

But another senior MP said it was “premature” for the party to think about getting rid of Ms Truss. They told PA news agency it would be seen as “completely bonkers to have three prime ministers in one year”.

A former cabinet minister said Ms Truss was “probably going to have to sack” Mr Kwarteng in a bid to save her job following the disastrous mini-budget which shook the UK’s economy.

“Even then it might not be enough if she can’t regain the confidence of the markets,” they told the Daily Mail.

According to YouGov polling, almost half of those who voted Conservative at the last election want Truss out.

Some 62 per cent say grassroots members made the wrong choice in the leadership vote, and 43 per cent want to party to appoint a new prime minister. Only 29 per cent are opposed.

Mr Sunak came second in the Tory leadership race with Ms Mordaunt finishing third.

Existing Conservative rules shield the prime minister from being removed from office by MPs for a year from her election. However, it is thought that these could be changed if the right authorities in the party were brought on board.

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