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Kwasi Kwarteng quit shock: Truss' disastrous Chancellor announces he's standing down as Tory MP at election

Kwasi Kwarteng quit shock: Truss' disastrous Chancellor announces he's standing down as Tory MP at election

Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has announced that he will leave Parliament at the next election.

Mr Kwarteng, who represents Spelthorne, in Surrey, said he had told his constituency association on Monday that he would not fight the election.

He tweeted: "It has been an honour to serve the residents of Spelthorne since 2010, and I shall continue to do so for the remainder of my time in Parliament."

Mr Kwarteng and then-Prime Minister Liz Truss pushed the British economy into meltdown with his so-called “mini-Budget” in September 2022.

He was sacked after just 38 days as Chancellor, one of the great Offices of State in the British government, being replaced by Jeremy Hunt who swiftly reversed several of his flagship measures.

Mr Kwarteng learned of his fate from a tweet by a journalist after he returned from a work trip in America.

He became the second shortest serving UK Chancellor.

Former Tory leader William Hague told Times Radio: "He's a clever guy, but he of course he had a disaster....So he'll always have that on his reputation. I suppose that might be a factor and he's young enough to do other things."

Mr Kwarteng slashed taxes in his "mini-Budget" by £45 billion in a huge gamble to ramp-up growth before the next general election.

Unveiling the biggest tax cuts since 1972, he told the Commons: “We are at the beginning of a new era. For too long in this country, we have indulged in a fight over redistribution. Now, we need to focus on growth, not just how we tax and spend. Our duty is to make the UK one of the most competitive economies in the world.”

But the markets took fright when he signalled there was more of this economic plan to come and his fiscal statement became known as "Kamikwaze".

As the Government went on a borrowing and debt splurge to fund the tax-cutting bonanza and deal with the energy bills crisis, the pound plunged amid the febrile mood in the markets.

To respond to the crisis, the Bank of England was forced to make emergency interventions to calm the markets as the cost of borrowing rose, sending the mortgage bills of millions of homeowners higher, with rents also going up as landlords struggled with higher home loans.

The cost of Government borrowing also rose, hitting the public finances.

Mr Kwarteng and Ms Truss unleashed their economic plan on Britain, bypassing the normal process of getting updated forecasts from the fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility.

An OBR forecast would have forced the then Chancellor to reveal how his massive tax cuts would balance with spending reductions or increased borrowing.

Mr Kwarteng's rating hit a record low of nearly 50 years for Chancellors after his mini-budget mayhem.

As he flew home early from Washington for crisis talks with Ms Truss, an Ipsos survey for the Standard showed 65 per cent of adults in Britain were dissatisfied with him, and just 12 per cent satisfied, giving him a net rating of -53 just over a month into the job.

No other Chancellor has had a worse rating even as far back as when Denis Healey was at the Treasury helm in 1976, the year that the Labour government had to beg the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

Mr Kwarteng’s net satisfaction figure was on the same level as Norman Lamont’s of -52 in March 1993, around six months after Black Wednesday when the Government was forced to withdraw sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, and Ken Clarke’s of -53 in December 1994, when quarterly unemployment averaged 2.5 million.

Despite the economic mayhem sparked by Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng, the former Prime Minister is again pushing her growth agenda, including tax cuts, with a new group called the Popular Conservatives.

Mr Kwarteng is the latest in a string of Tory MPs who have announced they will not stand at the next election including former Chancellor Sajid Javid.

Lord Barwell, a former Croydon MP and Theresa May’s No10 chief of staff, tweeted: “Expect more of this between now and polling day. The Conservative Parliamentary Party in the next Parliament is going to be both a lot smaller and a lot less experienced.”

Mr Kwarteng was elected an MP in May 2010.

He sprung to prominence when he co-authored a book, with Tory MPs including Ms Truss, and now ex-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, called "Britain Unchained" in which he suggested British workers were "lazy".