Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss fires finance chief after less than 6 weeks on job
British Prime Minister Liz Truss fired her finance chief on Friday after less than six weeks on the job.
In his resignation letter, Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng accepted Truss’s request to “stand aside” following weeks of political and economic turmoil.
Kwarteng was forced to fly back early to London from Washington, D.C., where he had been attending the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting, to attend a brief meeting with the prime minister.
In a press conference, Truss admitted that firing him had been “difficult.”
Kwarteng is the third chancellor in just three months — following Nadhim Zahawi, who held the job for just over two months, and Rishi Sunak, whose resignation sparked a Conservative Party crisis and the eventual downfall of leader Boris Johnson.
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been named as the new chancellor.
It follows weeks of backlash from the British public as well as economic fallout after the announcement of the new government’s mini-budget. The £45 billion ($50.4 billion) plan to cut taxes, even for the wealthiest in the country, caused the economy to spiral into chaos and the pound to plummet.
In a bid to counteract the economic downturn and a mounting Conservative Party revolt, Truss reversed cuts that had been set out in the mini-budget. Speaking about the U-turn, she said, “Parts of our mini-budget went further and faster” than the markets had expected. She continued that she was still determined to achieve “what I promised — to deliver a higher-growth, more prosperous United Kingdom to see us through the storm we face.”
The events follow a report by the Times that senior members of the Conservative Party are plotting to replace Truss with a joint ticket of Sunak, who ran against her in the final leadership race, and Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons.