'I'm going to my office now': Kwarteng's awkward refusal to comment after pound hits record low

Kwasi Kwarteng avoided commenting on the financial crisis sparked by his 'mini-budget' on Friday, telling a journalist "I'm just going to my office now" as he ducked questions on his way into work.

In a video that swiftly went viral, the new chancellor looked embarrassed as he ignored questions about whether he would reverse tax cuts, or speak to the Bank of England, after the pound plunged to an all-time low against the US dollar.

"What are you going to do about the turmoil in the markets?" he is asked, to which he replies "I am not going to comment now".

He is then asked if he will reverse his announcement, or seek to speak to the Bank of England, but appears not to hear as he faces forward, before mumbling "I'm just going to my office now" and walking off.

The pound's drop in value was sparked on Sunday when Kwarteng defended his financial plans for the country, and warned there was "more to come", as he insisted that Friday's announcement of £45bn in tax cuts was just the start.

The measures, which include scrapping the additional rate of income tax and cutting stamp duty, are aimed at fuelling economic growth.

Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss (L) and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng (R) chat during a visit to Berkeley Modular, in Northfleet, in south-east England on September 23, 2022. - The UK's new government has unveiled multi-billion-pound measures aimed at supporting households and businesses hit by the highest inflation in decades. (Photo by DYLAN MARTINEZ / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DYLAN MARTINEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have been criticised for their 'mini-budget' announced on Friday which proposes the biggest tax cuts the UK has seen in 40 years. (Getty)

But experts fear that Kwarteng and his boss, new Tory leader Liz Truss, are pushing up public borrowing to unsustainable levels.

Critics have questioned the fairness Kwarteng's package, with millionaires handed at least a £55,000 tax cut, which one MP pointed out is “more than a nurse earns”.

The video comes just a week after another clip went viral apparently showing Kwarteng apparently laughing while attending the Queen's funeral.

In footage widely shared on Twitter, Kwarteng is seen sitting in a pew behind Carrie Johnson, the wife of former prime minister Boris Johnson. He looks down at something in his lap and then looks back up, appearing to chuckle to himself.

It is thought he was glancing at his phone during the service.

Viewers questioned Kwarteng's behaviour, and Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden Tweeted: "What's going on here? Because the answers will range from inappropriate to downright frightening from our Chancellor #KwasiKwarteng I do think he should be asked to explain himself?"

It's not the first time this week Kwarteng has been the subject of a video that has gone viral (Twitter)
It's not the first time this week Kwarteng has been the subject of a video that has gone viral (Twitter)

And then more footage emerged showing Kwarteng during a two minute silence in the service, where he was seen swaying and looking around as the rest of the congregation bowed their heads.

Since Truss took charge of the Tories at the start of September, the party's popularity has dipped even further, and a poll on Friday suggested that were an election to be held now, Labour would hold a 10% lead.

Insiders have already suggested that some Tory MPs have reportedly already begun talking about handing in letters of no confidence, fearing the new PM could crash the UK economy altogether.