UK finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng sacked
"I believe your vision is the right one. It has been an honour to serve as your first Chancellor,” Kwarteng said. File photo: Twitter/HM Treasury

British PM Liz Truss sacks Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng

British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday (October 14) dismissed her Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and appointed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in his place.

The move by Truss is seen as an effort to stem the economic turmoil unleashed by Kwarteng’s mini-budget at the end of last month.

In a letter to Truss, which was posted on his Twitter handle on Friday, chancellor Kwarteng, who was in office at the UK Treasury for only 38 days, said, “You have asked me to stand aside as your Chancellor. I have accepted.”

Also read: UK PM Liz Truss under pressure over tax cuts

“When you asked me to serve as your Chancellor, I did so in full knowledge that the situation we face was incredibly difficult, with rising global interest rates and energy prices. However, your vision of optimism, growth and change was right,” he added.

Kwarteng said following the “status quo” was not an option and said her “vision is the right one”.

“As I have said many times in the past week, 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,” he stated.

“It is important now as we move forward to emphasise your government’s commitment to fiscal discipline. The Medium-Term Fiscal Plan is crucial to this end, and I look forward to supporting you and my successor to achieve that from the backbenches. I believe your vision is the right one. It has been an honour to serve as your first Chancellor,” Kwarteng, who flew back from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington a day earlier than planned, said.

Also read: Rishi Sunak’s loss leaves Tories sharply divided in Liz Truss regime

Meanwhile, rebels on the backbenches of the UK’s governing Conservative Party were said to be plotting to replace Truss as party leader and prime minister with a so-called “unity” joint ticket team involving former leadership rival Rishi Sunak.

It comes as a YouGov poll for The Times found that almost half of Tory party supporters believe the party chose the wrong candidate in the leadership election.

The YouGov poll found that among those who voted for the Conservatives at the last election, 62% said that party members had made the wrong choice when the race was shortlisted between Truss and Sunak, compared with 15% who said they had got it right.

(With agency inputs)

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