Kwasi Kwarteng: ‘Tough call’ to attend post-budget party

The Chancellor said that ‘in hindsight it was probably not the best day to go’ to the Conservative Party event.

Political opponents have called for an official investigation following the Sunday Times report that he attended a private champagne reception with hedge fund managers who stand to gain from a collapse in the pound following his mini budget.

Mr Kwarteng said the event had been planned for “a few weeks”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng speaking to the media ahead of the Conservative Party’s annual conference at the International Convention Center in Birmingham. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022.

He told LBC Radio: “I spent there, I think, a quarter of an hour, or maybe a bit more. It was a party event, we have party events all the time.

Mr Kwarteng added: “I think it was a tough call and I totally understand what it’s like. I just feel like it was something I was signed up for and had to do.

He acknowledged that “looking back, it probably wasn’t the best day to go.”

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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng backs away from scrapping 45p tax rate

The Sunday Times reported he joined the rally at the home of a Chelsea City financier on the evening of September 23, where he was said to have been ‘tricked’ into committing to his £45billion scheme unfunded tax cuts.

The following Sunday, in a BBC television interview, the Chancellor said there were “more things to come”, a comment that has been blamed for helping to scare markets, pushing the pound, which was already down, to an all-time low against the dollar.

Conservative Chairman Jake Berry, who was also present at the rally, insisted Conservative Party donors to the event should be ‘praised’ while Prime Minister Liz Truss said meeting business people made part of the Chancellor’s job.

The pound rebounded to levels seen before the government’s controversial mini-budget as the Chancellor flip-flopped on the decision to scrap the 45p tax rate.

The pound jumped to US$1.13 at one point overnight, recouping lost ground in the market turmoil caused by Kwasi Kwarteng’s infamous mini-budget, although it pared some of the gains in early morning trading to settle at 1.12.

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