Kwasi Kwarteng admits he “fucked it up” with his miserable mini-budget

Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget didn’t go as he planned, to say the least (Picture: Getty Images)

Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted he “blew it” with his daring but disastrous mini-budget that crashed the economy.

The former chancellor told the Financial Times in an article yesterday that he and his political soulmate Liz Truss were “carried away”.

Kwarteng said: “People got carried away, including me. There was no tactical sophistication whatsoever.

“My greatest regret is that we weren’t tactically smart and were too impatient. There was a brief moment and those responsible, including me, screwed it up.

Kwarteng delivered what Truss had long promised to Tory members – sweeping tax cuts and the embrace of the free market.

But when it mattered, her mandate crashed financial markets, dropping the pound amid a cost-of-living crisis and forcing the Bank of England to step in.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng visit a construction site for a medical innovation campus on day three of the Conservative Party's annual conference at the International Convention Center in Birmingham, Britain October 4, 2022. Stefan Rousseau /Pool via REUTERS//File Photo

The then prime minister and chancellor has brought a wrecking ball to the economy, financial experts said (Image: Reuters)

File photo dated 02/10/2022 of Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng, Prime Minister Liz Truss during a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II at the start of the Conservative Party's annual conference at the International Convention Center in Birmingham. Liz Truss has announced her resignation as Prime Minister. Issue date: Thursday October 20, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tory. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Kwarteng and Truss were ideological soul mates (Image: PA)

Shrugging at the volatile market reaction to his and Truss’s tax and spending plan, he said, “Markets move all the time.”

Kwarteng, the Spelthorne MP, claimed in November that he had asked Truss to “slow down” their economic reforms.

The decision to remove him after just six weeks in office was “insane,” the Spelthorne MP told the Financial Times.

He told TalkTV at the time: “After the mini-budget we were going at breakneck speed and I said, you know, let’s slow down, slow down.”

He said inside No. 10 that Truss insisted she only had “two years” at the top post and threatened to fire him within “two months” if he pushed her rate back.

In the end, Kwarteng wouldn’t even have that. He was sacked in 38 days and became Britain’s shortest-serving chancellor.

“I can’t remember if she actually shed any tears, but she was very emotional and it was difficult to do that,” Kwarteng said.

“I think she really thought this was the right thing to do to give her more time to get her premiership on the right track.”

Truss barely had time. She resigned after just 44 days in office, and now Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is taking a torch on her botched budget.

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Justin Scacco

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