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Friday, December 2, 2022
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Friday, December 2, 2022
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    New UK Treasury chief insists Truss retains control

    LONDON (AP) – The new United Kingdom (UK) Treasury chief yesterday insisted Prime Minister Liz Truss retains control of her government despite having to roll back her signature economic policies weeks into her premiership.

    Jeremy Hunt was drafted in to lead the Treasury after Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng amid rising pressure following the turbulent market reaction to the new administration’s “mini-budget”.

    “The prime minister’s in charge,” Hunt, a former foreign and health secretary, told the BBC when he was asked whether he now held all the power at Downing Street.

    Truss and Kwarteng had slowly unraveled key elements of their economic vision, including tax cuts for top earners and a halt on corporation tax rises, before the prime minister gave in to financial market instability and tanking polling figures and fired Kwarteng.

    Hunt has now said taxation will rise and public spending will shrink, despite Britain’s growing cost-of-living crisis.

    He said he had been surprised to receive the call to return to the Cabinet, but he was “honoured” to join the government as he shared Truss’ desire to prioritise economic growth. “She has changed the way we’re going to get there, but she has not changed the destination, which is to get the country growing,” Hunt said.

    It remains unclear if Truss, who throughout this summer’s leadership campaign secured the support of a majority of Conservative Party members but not of its lawmakers, can ward off any plots to oust her.

    UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. PHOTO: AP
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