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Kwasi Kwarteng: Downing Street refuses to deny reports that Chancellor is to be sacked

October 14, 2022 11:15 am (Updated October 14, 2022 11:51 am)

Liz Truss will hold a press conference later today where she is expected to backtrack on some her key tax pledges.

Downing Street announced the Prime Minister will address the public and journalists amid speculation she has been forced into U-turn on her policies, following Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget three weeks ago.

She is not expected to be joined by the Chancellor, however, despite him having been hauled back from Washington a day early.

The Chancellor cut short his visit to the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as questions swirled as to whether he and the Prime Minister would be able to survive the coming days.

Frantic discussions have been underway in Downing Street over whether to row back on the Government’s tax cut plan.

It follows days of turmoil in the markets amid concerns about the impact of his £43 billion tax giveaway on the public finances.

Ms Truss is said to be considering rowing back on her promise to freeze corporation tax rates, instead allowing them to rise next year.

There is also speculation that she could be prepared to sack the Chancellor, after just over a month in the job, in an attempt to save her own premiership.

Rumours that the blame could be laid squarely at Mr Kwarteng’s door were fuelled by the fact No10 did not suggest he would be joining her at the press conference.

Earlier, Labour’s Ed Miliband said the Conservative Party should be “hanging its head in shame” over the economic fiasco.

“This is a Government in meltdown and an economic policy in tatters and frankly I think the Conservative Party should be hanging their head in shame at what it’s putting the country through. This is about people’s livelihoods, people’s homes, people’s mortgages,” he told Sky News.

He added: “You have a Government that embarked on a strategy of saying: ‘Lets have massive tax cuts for the richest in society, for big corporations, so-called trickle-down economics’, which isn’t going to work, and also they’re trashing the economic institutions of this country, like the Office for Budget Responsibility.

“That is why the markets have reacted as they have, that’s why there’s been such a loss of confidence in the Government and the Government’s economic policy and that’s why the budget has got to be ripped up.”

Conservative MP Mel Stride, who chairs the Commons Treasury Committee, said it was essential that the Government acted decisively if it was to restore confidence.

“The danger here is that they decide they are going to nibble at the edges of this and don’t think that will cut it,” he told the BBC.

“You could end up in that circumstance in the worst of worlds – that you’ve U-turned but it doesn’t settle the markets.”

Investment Synergy - The actions of a wholly unprepared government have not caused ¨ripples¨ but a seismic wave that may vibrate for a long time to come .....

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