Jeremy Hunt has been named as Chancellor, replacing Kwasi Kwarteng who has been sacked by the PM after five weeks in the job
The former health minister under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt is understood to be taking over the most senior role in the government.
In his resignation letter to Liz Truss, Kwarteng wrote: ‘When you asked me to serve as your Chancellor I did so in full knowledge that the situation we faced was incredibly difficult, with rising global interest rates and energy prices. However, your vision of optimism, growth and change was right.
‘As I have said many times in the past weeks, following the status quo was simply not an option. For too long this country has been dogged by low growth rates and high taxation – that must still change if this country is to succeed.’
He added that it was important to continue to commit to the growth plan set out on 23 September and said ‘the medium term fiscal plan is crucial to this end’.
In addition, Chris Philp, chief secretary to the Treasury has been moved to the Cabinet Office. Both have only been in post since 5 September.
Philp has been replaced by Edward Argar with immediate effect. He was previously paymaster general and minister for the Cabinet Office from 6 September 2022 to 14 October 2022.
Under Johnson’s government he was minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care between 10 September 2019 and 6 July 2022. He was elected as Conservative MP for Charnwood in 2015.
Within weeks of being appointed, Kwarteng set out a raft of tax changes in the mini Budget on 23 September, which were not costed and led to financial stability as the City opposed the measures. At the time, he cancelled the rise in corporation tax from 19% to 25%, as well as cutting the higher rate of tax to 40p, which was quickly reversed, and knocking 1p off the base rate to 19% from April 2023.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown said: ‘Parachuting Jeremy Hunt into number 11, who was a key supporter of her rival for the leadership, Rishi Sunak, shows how desperate the Prime Minister is to build bridges with the wider Conservative Party.
‘It shows a growing awareness that concentrating group-think in a small cabal of fervent fans might have been partly to blame for the political and economic debacle the government has experienced.
‘Jeremy Hunt also campaigned against Brexit so there will be hopes the new Chancellor will adopt a more reconciliatory approach towards the EU when it comes to any cabinet discussions on the direction of travel for trade talks.’