The former British Chancellor of the Exchequer in the short-lived government of Liz Truss said in an interview on Thursday that he had warned the ex-Prime Minister to “delay” her tax cuts that sparked economic turmoil and led to her downfall.
Kwasi Kwarteng, appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer after Liz Truss succeeded Boris Johnson, made a series of unfunded tax cuts in late September as the UK faced inflation above 10 percent.
His ‘mini-budget’ panicked markets, sent the pound to an all-time low and prompted warnings from both the International Monetary Fund and the central bank.
Kwarteng was fired in mid-October by Truss, who had campaigned for the economic program and was voted into office by conservative grassroots following Johnson’s resignation.
“I think the prime minister was very much of the opinion that we had to get things done quickly. But I think it was too soon,” he told Talk TV in his first interview since his resignation, which aired Thursday night.
“After the mini-budget, we went at breakneck speed and I said, you know, we need to slow down, slow down,” Kwarteng said.
“She said, ‘Well, I only have two years,’ and I said, ‘You have two months if you go on like this.’ And that’s, I’m afraid, what happened.”
Kwarteng said he told Truss it was “crazy” to fire him because “when chancellors are fired by the prime minister for doing what the prime minister has campaigned for, the prime minister is in a very weak position”.
But “I think she honestly thought it was the right thing to do to give her more time to get her premiership on the right track,” he said.
While he admitted and regretted being “responsible” for the disruption caused by the budget announcements, he made no apology.
Truss was forced to resign in mid-October after less than 50 days in office, becoming the shortest-serving prime minister in Britain’s history.
Since then, her budget plan has been smashed by the new government of Rishi Sunak, who succeeded her on October 25.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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