UK city minister blames Putin for financial chaos

STORY: He made the comment after the Bank of England sought to quell a firestorm in Britain's bond markets, saying it would buy as much government debt as needed to restore order after new Prime Minister Liz Truss' tax cut plans triggered financial chaos.

Asked in an interview whether the government took responsibility for what was happening in financial markets, Griffith said: "No, we both know that we're seeing the same impact of Putin's war in Ukraine cascading through things like the cost of energy, some of the supply side implications of that."

While the interviewer pointed out other major economies were not seeing an impact to the degree of the UK's, Griffith insisted that "every major economy is dealing with exactly the same issues", adding that the Bank of England's intervention was "timely" and an example of the central bank doing its job.

Griffith told reporters that Britain had a "very strong balance sheet" and the government's priority was to focus on delivering its plan to boost economic growth.

The plan, delivered by Truss's finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, for tax cuts on top of an energy bill bailout, all funded by a huge increase in government borrowing, quickly led to a freezing of mortgage markets, selling of government securities and a leap in corporate borrowing costs.

Asked if the government intended to change any of the plans announced last week, he said: "We think they're the right plans because those plans make our economy competitive."