By sacking Kwarteng, Truss hopes to save herself. But there is little chance this will work. Appointing Jeremy Hunt as replacement chancellor is an attempt to reach out to other sections of the party, but her government is dead in the water. Hunt, a Sunak supporter at the centre of plans to stop Truss becoming Tory leader, will be as keen as anyone for the axe to fall on her neck—whatever he says in public.
As its occupant of just thirty-eight days 1 exits 11 Downing Street …
… a safer pair of hands will be moving in, its owner a true financial maestro.
See my post earlier today on Truss’s zugzwang. Short of resignation – highly likely – there’s no move she can safely make. Not even a relatively small one. Says the Guardian under the header, Truss premiership ‘hanging by thread’ after Kwarteng sacking and latest U-turn:
The appointment of Hunt infuriated some of Truss’s earliest backers who endorsed her tax cutting plan. One who was among the original 24 who nominated her for the leadership in July said: “She is removing every reason I voted for her.” A previously loyal backbencher also said there would be gatherings over the weekend and she would be “told to go on Monday”.
Meanwhile Jeremy Seven Pads is already being called a de facto caretaker prime minister.
* * *
- Most report thirty-nine days but I used MS Excel’s date function to subtract 6/9/22 from 14/10/22. So unless my enemies calculated the hours and rounded up, their numeracy skills are on a par with TrussTweng’s. Not that this affects the bottom line. Be it thirty-eight days or thirty-nine, Kwarteng’s tenure is the second shortest in UK history, though the man who romps in at numero uno had a better excuse. In 1970 Iain McLeod died on the job after thirty days.