The crisis in the British Tories is coming to a head: According to a report in the London newspaper "Times", Prime Minister Liz Truss is threatened with an internal party revolt. In turn, they want to save themselves with a liberation - and fired Finance Minister Kwarteng on Friday afternoon after only 38 days in office. The BBC, the “Financial Times” and the “Spectator” report all of this in unison.
Truss even summoned her party friend from Washington for the planned dismissal. Kwarteng, who traveled to the United States for the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting, was not due to return to Britain until Saturday.
Truss and Kwarteng have recently been under immense pressure to withdraw plans for far-reaching tax cuts in order to calm the financial markets and cushion increasing resistance from their own party. The tax cuts would result in high new debt.
Kwarteng's successor has already been decided: Jeremy Hunt will take over as finance minister. He is scheduled to be presented at a press conference at 3:30 p.m. It is said that Truss also wants to announce that she will withdraw large parts of the economic plans that she announced just a few weeks ago. Hunt has so far stood for the same tax cut course as Truss and Kwarteng - and now apparently has to decide the opposite as the first official act.
The well-informed “Times” had previously reported that leading Tories were already openly discussing replacing the head of government internally. There are considerations to set up a common candidate.
A pact between ex-Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Tory politician Penny Mordaunt is possible, the Times reported, citing senior party members. Both had failed in the internal competition for party leadership because of Truss. A "council of elders" made up of dozens of former cabinet members is ready to ask Truss to give up.
The prime minister has also been facing harsh criticism from within her own ranks for weeks. The reason for this is the finance minister's budget, financed only with debt, which had triggered severe market turbulence. After fierce protests, including from leading Tories, Truss and Kwarteng reversed the abolition of the top tax rate.
Now another turnaround is likely: As the newspaper "Guardian" wrote, Truss and Kwarteng do not want to withdraw the significant increase in corporate tax planned for April. The Prime Minister had repeatedly stressed that the increase from 19 to 25 percent decided by her predecessor Boris Johnson would be canceled.
The markets reacted positively, but Truss seems to be getting nowhere with voters. In a survey by the opinion research institute Yougov for the "Times", 50 percent were in favor of putting Truss out the door, only nine percent backed the head of government.
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