U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss has sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer – the government’s top financial post – after just five weeks into office.
The move comes as the U.K. continues to deal with the fall-out of Kwarteng’s mini-budget, which Truss endorsed and triggered financial turmoil, including a steep rise in interest rates. The country as already been dealing with sky-rocketing energy costs as well as a cost of living crisis, which is affecting both individuals and businesses.
Kwarteng was in the U.S. for business when he was called back urgently on Friday (Oct. 14) to hear he’d been sacked. At time of writing, Truss had not yet announced his replacement.
In his resignation letter, Kwarteng, who was widely perceived to be one of Truss’s most loyal supporters, wrote: “You have asked me to stand aside as your Chancellor. I have accepted.”
He also urged Truss to continue with their financial plans, writing: “It is important now as we move forward to emphasise your government’s commitment to fiscal discipline.”
The move to sack Kwarteng, which follows a number of U-turns following the mini-budget, further weakens Truss’s position as the fourth Prime Minister (and Conservative party leader) in six years. Already rumors are flying within the U.K. that she will be forced out by members of her own party and that a general election may even be called by the end of the year.
Truss is set to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon (Oct. 14), with political insiders speculating she will announce more reversals to the mini-budget, including those on tax cuts Kwarteng announced last month.
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