Sat, 15 June 2024

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Jeremy Hunt Replaces Kwasi Kwarteng As Chancellor In Day Of Government Chaos

Jeremy Hunt (Alamy)

2 min read

Liz Truss has appointed Jeremy Hunt to be her new Chancellor after Kwasi Kwarteng was removed from the position as she fights to stay in power.

Hunt, who backed Rishi Sunak to become Prime Minister, has previously held three cabinet roles including foreign secretary, health secretary and culture secretary. 

Kwarteng raced back from the US to meet with Truss on Friday.

He was sacked from government after being forced to rip up key sections of his "mini-Budget" in the wake of two weeks of economic chaos.

Chris Philp was replaced by Edward Argar as Chief Secretary to the Treasury as part of a government overhaul. Philp will become Paymaster General.

Truss will give a press conference this afternoon and is expected to announce that she has decided to raise corporation tax rather than keep it at its current level of 19% as she had promised during her leadership campaign.

It would represent another major U-turn on her economic agenda after she scrapped plans to abolish the 45p tax rate in the face of opposition from Conservative MP.

Despite being in power for just over a month, the Prime Minister finds herself in a leadership crisis with some of the most critical Tory MPs discussing whether to oust her.

Last months' fiscal statement – where Kwarteng said the government would borrow tens of billions of pounds to fund sweeping tax cuts – was followed by the sharp fall of the pound, rising interest rates, and two major interventions from the Bank of England.

One senior Conservative MP, however, told PoliticsHome that sacking Kwarteng would not be enough to shore up Truss' position.

"This budget was the PM's responsibility and hers alone as First Lord of the Treasury," they said.

 "Her vision, her measures and her appalling timing steamrollering cuts when the country can't afford them and cratering family finances across the land."

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