Kwasi Kwarteng praises Jeremy Hunt for ‘stabilising’ fallout from disastrous mini-Budget

Kwasi Kwarteng admitted that he and Liz Truss 'got it wrong' in how they went about introducing tax cuts - Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph
Kwasi Kwarteng admitted that he and Liz Truss 'got it wrong' in how they went about introducing tax cuts - Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph

Kwasi Kwarteng has praised Jeremy Hunt’s “good” Spring Budget, but vowed to keep fighting for a lower-tax economy.

The former chancellor, who presided over the ill-fated mini-Budget during Liz Truss’s time in office, admitted that he and the former prime minister “got it wrong” in how they went about introducing tax cuts.

Speaking to Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph’s associate editor, on her GB News political programme, Mr Kwarteng argued that Mr Hunt had “done a good job” in calming the markets and hailed his announcement on Wednesday.

“I think it was a good Budget,” said Mr Kwarteng.

He said he disagreed with the corporation tax rise, adding: “In a way that’s why I was sacked, because ultimately there was a disagreement about corporation tax and it was felt given the market turmoil that had occurred that we had to reverse not putting it up.

“What we can’t do is pretend that last October didn’t happen or last September didn’t happen. There was an adverse reaction to the Budget that I put forward, the mini-Budget that Liz Truss and I put forward.

“And Jeremy was appointed by Liz Truss, and people forget that, but he was actually appointed by her and I think he’s actually done a good job in stabilising the situation.”

Asked if he would say sorry to those whose mortgages were affected by the market turmoil that followed his plans, Mr Kwarteng said there was “too much” in the mini-Budget but insisted he was “not in the business of apologising for everything”.

“I think we should have been more methodical, I don’t think everything I did was right … But I’m very much trying to look forward to actually fighting for the low tax economy that I want to see.”

He urged the Tories to get behind Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, to have a chance of winning the next general election - adding: “It’s very irritating to see people who’ve been very high up in government not backing necessarily everything that the prime minister’s trying to do.”

George Osborne, the former Tory chancellor, said the “solid, steady” announcements last Wednesday marked a good week for Mr Hunt and Mr Sunak.

However, Mr Osborne, who slashed the corporation tax rate from 28 per cent to 20 per cent at the Treasury, said he “wasn’t a great fan” of the decision to press ahead with the six per cent increase.

“That to me is a more significant undoing of my legacy that I don’t support,” he told The Andrew Neil Show. “Because I think it sends the wrong message about growth around the world.”