New British Treasury chief insists Prime Minister Liz Truss retains control

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LONDON – The UK’s new Treasury chief insisted on Sunday that Prime Minister Liz Truss retains control of his government despite weeks of major economic policies rolling back his premiership.

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Jeremy Hunt was set to head the Treasury after the truce sacked Quasi Quarteng amid mounting pressure following a turbulent market reaction to the new administration’s “mini-budget”.

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Hunt, the former foreign and health secretary, told the BBC he was “in charge of the prime minister,” when asked if he now had all the power in Downing Street.

Truss and Quarteng had gradually reconciled key elements of their economic vision, including tax cuts for top earners and a moratorium on corporation tax hikes, before the prime minister abandoned financial market volatility and tanking polling data. Diya and fired Quarteng.

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Hunt has now said that despite Britain’s growing livelihood crisis, taxation will increase and public spending will decrease.

He said he was surprised to receive a call to return to the cabinet, but was “honoured” to join the government because he shared the truce’s desire to prioritize economic growth.

“He has changed the way he gets there, but he hasn’t changed the destination, which is to move the country forward,” Hunt said.

It is unclear whether the truce, which won the support of most members of the Conservative Party but not its lawmakers during this summer’s leadership campaign, could stall any plot to oust him.

Tory MP Robert Halfon told Sky News on Sunday that many aides are unhappy and that the situation “must improve”.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer pressed the Labor Party’s call for an immediate general election to restore stability, saying the Conservatives were “at the end of the road”.

Hunt has suggested the election is not an imminent one, adding that Truss will be judged by how his government performs over the next 18 months. Conservatives want to win back the public’s trust before any national vote.

Recent polls have put the Conservative Party at a vote share of around 25%, a far cry from the 42.4% share it gained in December 2019, which gave then-leader Boris Johnson a commanding majority in parliament.

The current prime minister argued that his credibility remained intact when he announced Hunt’s appointment during a four-question news conference on Friday.

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