Changing PM would be disastrously bad idea, cabinet minister sayson October 13, 2022 at 8:19 am

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James Cleverly says Liz Truss will stick to her economic plans despite Tory unrest over her tax cuts.

Prime Minister Liz TrussImage source, Getty Images

Getting rid of Liz Truss would be a “disastrously bad idea”, the foreign secretary has said, as he defended prime minister’s economic plans.

James Cleverly said the PM – who has been in office for 37 days – would stick to her plans despite Tory unrest over tax cuts.

The fact that her mini-budget, which sparked market turmoil, surprised some people “is not her fault”, he added.

Ms Truss has repeatedly defended the proposed tax cuts outlined last month.

There has been speculation that Ms Truss could be forced out of office by Conservative MPs if she does not change course.

But Mr Cleverly defended her approach, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the only way to counteract the “powerful and negative economic headwinds” facing the UK was by stimulating economic growth.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on 23 September, which included £45bn of tax cuts funded by borrowing, has caused turbulence in financial markets and prompted the Bank of England to intervene to protect pension funds.

Mr Kwarteng is due to set out how he will fund the package and reduce debt on 31 October.

But Ms Truss is facing growing calls within her own party to scrap all or part of his economic programme to shore up the UK’s economic position ahead of a difficult winter.

After a stormy session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Ms Truss faced backbench Tory MPs, who savaged her economic policies.

Sources in the room told the BBC that Robert Halfon had accused Ms Truss of “trashing blue collar conservatism”.

He told her the party’s record over the past 10 years had included things like boosting apprenticeships and the living wage, whereas she had cut tax for millionaires and wanted to cut affordable housing and benefits.

MPs who were present said he got a cheer, while Ms Truss looked “shocked” and said he could come to speak to her.

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