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Liz Truss has confidence in Kwasi Kwarteng despite 45p tax rate U-turn

Downing Street said the Prime Minister backs her Chancellor despite the mid-conference humiliation.

03 October 2022

Liz Truss is standing by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng after they abandoned their plan to abolish the top rate of income tax for the highest earners in an astonishing U-turn.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister continues to have confidence in Mr Kwarteng, despite the humiliating move to avert a Tory rebellion over their widely criticised strategy.

The Chancellor acknowledged that their desire to borrow billions to axe the 45% rate on earnings over £150,000 had become a “terrible distraction” amid widespread criticism and threats of a rebellion.

Hours before he had been due to tell the Conservative Party conference they must “stay the course” on the plans, he issued a statement saying: “We are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate.”

“We get it, and we have listened,” he added, in language echoed in a tweet from the Prime Minister less than 24 hours after she said she remained absolutely committed to the cut.

The U-turn will be seen as a massive blow to their authority, coming a little over a week after the tax cut was announced in the mini-budget and just a month into Ms Truss’s premiership.

Mr Kwarteng said he had “not at all” considered resigning despite scrapping a key part of the financial plans he set out on September 23.

Opinion poll tracker
(PA Graphics)

Asked if Ms Truss has confidence in her Chancellor, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “Yes.”

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