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Kwasi Kwarteng admits he ‘got carried away’ and Liz Truss government ‘blew it’

10 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, and Prime Minister Liz Truss at the Tory Party conference. Photo Stefan Rousseau PA Images

Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted he “got carried away” during his brief stint as chancellor.

Reflecting on Liz Truss’s disastrous seven weeks as prime minister, the chancellor she sacked after he implemented her tax-cutting agenda said her government “blew it”.

Mr Kwarteng has spoken publicly only a handful of times about his disastrous mini-budget and ousting from Government, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promptly shifted direction in a bid to reassure financial markets.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Kwarteng said: “People got carried away, myself included. There was no tactical subtlety whatsoever.

“My biggest regret is we weren’t tactically astute and we were too impatient. There was a brief moment and the people in charge, myself included, blew it.”

This is not the first time Mr Kwarteng has spoken about his experience in Government.

The MP for Spelthorne in November claimed he told Ms Truss to “slow down” her radical economic reforms or risk being out of No 10 within “two months”.

His latest intervention came after Mr Hunt unveiled so-called his “Edinburgh reforms” – 30 changes to “turbocharge” growth, including by easing capital requirements for smaller lenders.

‘Big Bang 2.0’

Mr Kwarteng had hoped as chancellor to oversee a “Big Bang 2.0” – a reference to Margaret Thatcher’s 1986 policies which kicked off a massive change in the City of London.

The now-backbench MP criticised Ms Truss’s “mad” decision to sack him as chancellor for implementing her plans, while refusing to apologise for the financial turmoil unleashed by their disastrous mini-budget.

Using more than £70 billion of increased borrowing, he set out a package which included abolishing the top rate of income tax for the highest earners and axing the cap on bankers’ bonuses, on top of a massively expensive energy support package.

The mini-budget triggered turbulence in the financial markets, sending the pound tumbling, forcing the Bank of England’s intervention and pushing up mortgage rates.

Two days later, he signalled more tax cuts were on the way, spooking markets further.

‘Spinal Tap’

Mr Kwarteng’s latest comments came after Ms Truss’s former chief speech writer said she took a “Spinal Tap approach” to government, demanding the volume was “turned up to 11”.

Asa Bennett said the former prime minister had arrived in Downing Street determined to put “rocket boosters” under the economy and that it was a matter of “bitter regret” that her efforts had failed.

Ms Truss’s short-lived premiership ended in humiliation after her mini-budget led to chaos on financial markets forcing the Bank of England to take emergency action to prevent pension funds collapsing.

Ms Truss resigned after only 44 days in office, with her economic measures swiftly ripped up by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and her successor in No 10, Rishi Sunak.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

“Yeah, soz I tanked the economy and smashed up a load of people’s lives and helped get us into some of the worst financial storms in recent memory…Yeah, I got a bit carried away, you know? I tell you what though, that Liz Truss is a bit of a wally isn’t she?” How that man even dares show his face in public is beyond me. Has he no f***ing shame? I once sent a double-space pallet to the wrong end of the country and it resulted in two lads sitting around doing nothing for a day whilst I sorted the… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

I loved the music of the Pistols and Public Image Ltd but ever since I saw Lydon on one of the sick channels, I don’t want to listen to it anymore.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Don’t worry Kwasi. Your actions will only result in thousands of people having their homes repossessed but yours won’t be one of them so all’s well yeah? Yeah, I thought so.

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 month ago

Crashed the economy and now people can’t afford to eat or heat.
OOPSIE!

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

No 💩 Sherlock!

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 month ago

Fanaticism, they were blinded by their ideology, it because Brexit on steroids. They were oblivious to the fact the country was already hurting badly from the 2016 decision. Sadly, politicians, even though they were horrified at Truss and Kwarteng’s’ policies, are still entrenched in the Brexit dogma – fools.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Yeah , I often myself lose £65 billion and laugh it off with lame excuses as Kwasi Kwarteng has. Can you imagine us little people doing similar. You’d be up in court and receive a custodial sentenced.. Again I ask this question. Where’s the Welsh Conservatives arguing with venom the vast waste of taxpayers money lost by their beloved Conservative government? Nowhere to be seen. Mute morons. It isn’t Wales you see. Antagonist Andrew RT Davies & Co exist soley to criticise anything and everything Welsh. Just think. The purported £65 billion lost by Liz Truss & Kwasi Kwarteng brain-dead… Read more »

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