UK Politics: Kwasi Kwarteng Sacked, Jeremy Hunt Made Chancellor of the Exchequer

Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked as the UK's chancellor of the exchequer, just 3 weeks after his mini-budget on Sept. 23 caused turmoil in British markets and saw the pound hit a record low against the dollar.

UK Politics: Kwasi Kwarteng Sacked, Jeremy Hunt Made Chancellor of the Exchequer
Image credit: Newsbud

Facts

  • Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked as the UK's chancellor of the exchequer, just 3 weeks after his mini-budget on Sept. 23 caused turmoil in British markets and saw the pound hit a record low against the dollar.
  • Kwarteng - who was called back early from Washington by PM Liz Truss - became the second shortest-serving chancellor in British history on Friday, after just 38 days in the job. Since the mini-budget announced £45B in unfunded tax cuts, the government has already U-turned on plans to scrap the top rate of income tax.
  • In a letter tweeted to Truss, Kwarteng said, "you have asked me to stand aside as chancellor. I have accepted." However, he still defended that, "following the status quo was simply not an option," and that low growth rates and high taxation, "must still change if this country is to succeed."
  • Jeremy Hunt has reportedly been chosen to replace Kwarteng. The appointment will see Hunt - who has previously served as health secretary and foreign secretary among other roles - return to the frontbenches for the first time since 2019.
  • Recent market chaos has not only prompted the dismissal of the chancellor, but the replacement of Chris Philip - the chief secretary to the Treasury who was heavily involved in planning the mini-budget. The shake up in government since the mini-budget has seen Tory MPs openly revolt against their leadership.
  • According to PeoplePolling, Conservative support has slipped below 20% and sits 34% below support for Labour and Keir Starmer. Only 9% of voters reportedly held a favourable view of the PM as of Friday, while 65% regarded her unfavourably.

Sources: Newsbud, BBC News, Guardian, and Independent.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by Telegraph. Supporters of Truss's defeated leadership rival Rishi Sunak are undermining democracy by plotting against the current Prime Minister. After stabbing Boris Johnson in the back, party grandees now intend to destabilize Truss's premiership and replace her, despite her mandate as leader. Conservatives must unify behind Liz Truss and her government for the sake of decency and the sake of the party.
  • Left narrative, as provided by Guardian. Kwasi Kwarteng has been pushed from the farcical merry-go-round of Downing Street politics so that Liz Truss might remain a little bit longer. Yet again the Conservatives are plotting leadercide against one of their own, whose incompetence has obliterated the chances of Conservative party victory in the next election. The end of Truss's political career is inevitable and imminent.

Predictions