The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, dismissed Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, considered the architect of a controversial tax reform plan that had been questioned by the markets and even members of the Conservative Party, who are now even considering increase the pressure on the head of government.
The former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, confirmed this Friday that he was removed by the chief executive, Liz Truss, in a letter addressed to the prime minister that he posted on his Twitter account.
In the letter, the conservative politician indicates that he “accepted” the request made by the prime minister to “separate” from the position of head of Economy, amid growing pressure on the Government for the announcement on September 23 of a controversial fiscal plan with massive tax cuts.
— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) October 14, 2022
In his place, veteran “Tory” deputy Jeremy Hunt, former Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs, will take over.
Downing Street, the office of the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, confirmed through her social networks the appointment of Hunt, 56, who aspired in 2019 and this year, unsuccessfully, to lead the Conservatives.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) October 14, 2022
In the letter addressed to Truss, the former minister assures that he will support whoever succeeds him in that portfolio, although he insists that “continuing with the ‘status quo’ it was simply not an option”, alluding to the controversial tax changes included in his growth plan.
“For too long this country has been slowed down by low growth rates and high taxes, this still needs to change for the country to succeed,” he said.
Kwarteng – who returned today, a day earlier than planned, from a visit to Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund – says that when Truss asked him to be “chancellor of the Exchequer”, he did so “knowing that the situation we were facing was incredibly difficult, with global interest rates and energy prices on the rise.”
“However,” he tells his former boss, “your vision of optimism, growth, and change was correct.”
The politician points out that “the economic environment has changed rapidly since we presented the growth plan on September 23” and observes that “in response, together with the Bank of England and excellent Treasury officials, we have responded to these events.”
“We have been colleagues and friends for many years. During that time, I have seen your dedication and determination. I think your vision is correct. It has been an honor to serve as your first ‘chancellor’,” Kwarteng tells Truss on a more personal note.
The former minister was appointed head of the national economy just 38 days ago and his brief stay at the head of that portfolio has been marked mainly by the controversy that his radical program of massive tax cuts sowed, which plunged the markets into chaos.
The Tory leader is expected to give a press conference this afternoon, where she could announce substantial changes in the fiscal program. The prime minister is expected to clarify at that hearing who will replace Kwarteng and local media are also speculating that Truss will announce major amendments to the fiscal plans.
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