A group of senior Conservatives is rumored to be calling for the resignation of UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, threatening to cut her a little over than one month-old premiership short.
According to sources who told BBC Newsnight editor Nicholas Watt, the firing of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will embolden said Tories to come out publicly and ask Truss to step down–merely over a month after replacing her predecessor Boris Johnson.
“These are serious people. The PM will find it difficult to survive,” Watt’s source said.
The Kwasi Letters
Kwarteng was reportedly sacked following his mini-budget plans that entailed widespread tax cuts for those earning over $168,000 per year and unfunded government spending.
After public uproar, Truss seemingly walked back on the plan and retracted the abolition of the 45% tax rate. However, Truss decided a week later to forge ahead with the government’s mini-budget after all.
After he was let go, Kwarteng published his letter to the prime minister, saying it “has been an honor to serve as [Truss’] first Chancellor.”
“It is important now as we move forward to emphasise your government’s commitment to fiscal
discipline,” said Kwarteng in his letter.
In what could be summed up as a “you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up” faux pas, a letter from 10 Downing has been released, seemingly addressed to answer Kwarteng’s letter. In it, Truss said she is “deeply sorry to lose [him] from the government” and praised his mini budget as “of the most significant fiscal interventions in modern times.”
“I deeply respect the decision you have taken today. You have put the national interest first,” said the letter, contradicting the notion that Kwarteng was fired from post.
The catch: the letter–while written from the prime minister’s office–appears to have been written by Kwarteng himself as it still bears the ex-Chancellor’s sign-off at the bottom.
“Turn this situation” to “We need a general election”
A recent poll showed that Truss is already less popular than Johnson right before he left office. Watt’s source added that firing Kwarteng might have not done well for the prime minister’s conservative base who apparently “like Kwasi.”
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew Davies commented that Truss has to “turn this situation around.” If she can’t and should she step down, an election must ensue because “it would be right that people have their chance to have their say on this matter.”
“I think it would be very difficult to command public confidence in the situation where you change the leader again, in an internal party discussion,” Davies said.
Both leaders of the Labour and the Liberal Democrats echoed the same sentiment.
Truss held a press conference earlier today to announce a retraction on the business tax cuts she previously proposed.
“It is clear that parts of our mini budget went further and faster than markets were expecting. So the way we are delivering our mission right now has to change,” Truss announced in her press conference that lasted only seven minutes.
“I have therefore decided to keep the increase in corporation tax that was planned by the previous government,” she added.
The measure is said to raise 18 billion pounds per year, which will act as a “downpayment” for the medium-term fiscal plan.
Truss also confirmed Jeremy Hunt has been appointed to replace Kwarteng as Chancellor.
When asked why she gets to stay on as prime minister while the former Chancellor was let go, Truss said her priority is “making sure we deliver the economic stability that our country needs.”
“That’s why I had to take the difficult decisions I’ve taken today,” she added. “But ultimately, we also need to make sure we have economic stability and I have to act in the national interest as prime minister.”
Information for this briefing was found via the BBC and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.