Former Treasury minister blames Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng for budget chaos

A former Treasury minister has repeatedly refused to apologise for his role in Liz Truss’s disastrous “mini-budget” which nearly crashed the economy.

Chris Philp, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury and now Policing Minister, was asked in a series of broadcast interviews on Friday morning if he would say “sorry” for the economic plan unveiled by former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on September 23.

The fiscal statement, which at the time included £45billion of tax cuts including abolishing the 45p top-rate of income tax for the highest earners, spooked financial markets, sending the pound plummeting and the cost of Government borrowing soaring.

The Bank of England was forced to step in to buy £20bn of Government bonds to prop up pension funds which came close to collapsing.

On Thursday the Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey described how close the UK economy came to meltdown. He told C4 News: “I think at the point when we intervened I can tell you that the messages we were getting from the markets were that it was hours.”

But Mr Philp shifted the blame to Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng, insisting he was not the “decision maker”.

He told BBC Breakfast: "The decisions around the mini-budget were taken principally by the then-prime minister and to a lesser extent the then-chancellor."

He later added on LBC: “I wasn’t the decision maker. Liz Truss subsequently in an interview with the BBC’s Chris Mason did apologise.” He added that both Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng had since resigned.

But he also said: “The currency exchange rate and bond yields are broadly speaking back to where they were before.”

Pressed on whether he had urged a more cautious approach but been overruled by the former PM, he told presenter Nick Ferrari: “ I had a view myself we should have a more balanced package.”