UK’s Kwarteng confirms sacking as finance minister

by | Oct 14, 2022

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UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked after his disastrous mini-budget, he confirmed in a letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss.
It makes Kwarteng the second shortest-serving UK finance minister on record, behind Iain Macleod, who died of a heart attack 30 days after taking the job in 1970.

“You have asked me to stand aside as your Chancellor (finance minister). I have accepted,” Kwarteng wrote.

Since 2019, the UK has had four finance ministers, known as chancellors, including Nadhim Zahawi who served the third shortest tenure with 63 days during a short-lived reshuffle under Boris Johnson, and Sajid Javid who served 204 days – the fourth shortest tenure.

Kwarteng, who delivered the proposed packaged of unfunded tax cuts that sent markets into a tailspin, left a meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington a day early for urgent talks with Truss.

Speculation mounted on Thursday that the government was set to scrap all or parts of the mini-budget, which included £45bn of unfunded tax cuts but no spending review or economic forecasts. The pound rallied while gilt yields ticked lower on the speculation, although there was no official statement from Downing Street.

Kwarteng’s early return to London coincides with the Bank of England ending its emergency £65bn bond-buying package of support, which it launched in the aftermath of the mini-budget. The statement caused the pound to plunge and gilt yields to rise, and the central bank was forced to step in to prevent at-risk pension funds from collapsing.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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