AP

New UK Treasury chief insists Truss retains control

Oct 15, 2022, 5:49 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2022, 5:51 am

Britain's new Treasury Chief Jeremy Hunt walks into Downing Street to see the Prime Minister Liz Tr...

Britain's new Treasury Chief Jeremy Hunt walks into Downing Street to see the Prime Minister Liz Trus, in London, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. Embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss sacked her Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng and reversed course on sweeping tax cuts Friday as she tried to hang on to her job after weeks of turmoil on financial markets. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezalli)

(AP Photo/Alberto Pezalli)

LONDON (AP) — The new U.K. Treasury chief on Sunday insisted Prime Minister Liz Truss retains control of her government despite having to roll back her signature economic policies weeks into her premiership.

Jeremy Hunt was drafted in to lead the Treasury after Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng amid rising pressure following the turbulent market reaction to the new administration’s “mini-budget.”

“The prime minister’s in charge,” Hunt, a former foreign and health secretary, told the BBC when he was asked whether he now held all the power at Downing Street.

Truss and Kwarteng had slowly unraveled key elements of their economic vision, including tax cuts for top earners and a halt on corporation tax rises, before the prime minister gave in to financial market instability and tanking polling figures and fired Kwarteng.

Hunt has now said taxation will rise and public spending will shrink, despite Britain’s growing cost-of-living crisis.

He said he had been surprised to receive the call to return to the Cabinet, but he was “honored” to join the government as he shared Truss’ desire to prioritize economic growth.

“She has changed the way we’re going to get there, but she has not changed the destination, which is to get the country growing,” Hunt said.

It remains unclear if Truss, who throughout this summer’s leadership campaign secured the support of a majority of Conservative Party members but not of its lawmakers, can ward off any plots to oust her.

Tory lawmaker Robert Halfon told Sky News on Sunday that many colleagues remained unhappy and the situation “has to improve”.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer has pressed the Labour Party’s call for an immediate general election to restore stability, saying the Conservatives are “at the end of the road”.

Hunt has suggested an election is not imminent election, saying Truss will be judged on how her government performs over the next 18 months. The Conservatives want to win back the trust of the public before any national vote.

Recent polls have placed the Conservative Party at a vote share of around 25%, a far cry from the 42.4% share they received in December 2019 which handed then-leader Boris Johnson a commanding majority in Parliament.

The current prime minister argued she still held credibility during a four-question news conference on Friday when she announced the appointment of Hunt.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

13 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

2 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

3 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

9 days ago

New UK Treasury chief insists Truss retains control