Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor has today announced that he will present a Financial Statement to the House of Commons today.
In the statement he is expected to announce a further reversal of measures announced last month in the so called ‘mini-budget’. This could include the delaying or abolition the previously announced cut in income tax.
News of this afternoon’s statement was released before the financial markets opened this morning. This announcement, which comes after the Bank of England stopped buying bonds from intervention on Friday, is seen as an attempt at further calming the financial markets.
Speaking on the BBC Breakfast TV programme this morning, the Labour chief secretary to the Treasury, Pat McFadden said: “The reason he [Jeremy Hunt] is doing this is because ministers are terrified of what happens when markets open this morning”, adding, “ It is testament how much chaos has been caused by Liz Truss since she became prime minister”.
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The government’s move was welcomed by Mel Stide MP, the Chair of the Commons Treasury Committee. Writing on Twitter this morning Mr Stride said, “Strong start by Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor. Gets what needs to be done and is acting fast”.
Markets have responded positively to the news so far, with the pound climbing half a cent in the first hour.
Today’s announcement comes as the political pressure on Liz Truss further ratchets up. Three conservative MPs now call for the resignation of the prime minister.
The Conservative MP for Bridgend, James Wallis, revealed on Twitter that he has written to the prime minister calling for her resignation and stating that she no longer has ‘the confidence of the country’.
His letter follows similar public calls made by Andrew Bridgen and Crispin Blunt. Mr Bridgen has previously been amongst the first MPs to call for both of Ms Truss’ predecessors to go.
All eyes will now be on the 1922 committee of Conservative Backbenchers and whether rebel MPs can enact a rule amendment that would allow a new leader of the party to be challenged within the first one year of his or her appointment.
According to some estimates, at least 150 Conservative MPs will need to call for such rule changes in order for the 1992 committee’s executive to consider such a move.
Following the appointment of two members of the 1922 committee’s executive (Nus Ghani and Aaron Bell) to the government last month, there are two vacancies on the executive.
The vote to replace these two members will not be held until tomorrow so the executive committee is not scheduled to meet until Wednesday. Therefore, it is unlikely any formal steps against the prime minster will be possible to begin until later in the week.
The Conservative party’s position in the polls has worsened from an 11% deficit to one of 24% since the government released its mini budget. According to Saturday’s report, the party will lose 234 of its MPs in any election on this basis.
Conservatives would lose 131 of their seats, while Labour would gain Epsom and the Isle of Wight