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Liz Truss, forty very chaotic days



► Resignation of Boris Johnson

The end of Boris Johnson’s reign marks the beginning of an era of heartbreak within the Conservative Party. For many months, “Bojo” clung to the head of the Tories and his post as Prime Minister despite the revelations of the evenings at 10 Downing Street in the midst of health restrictions imposed on the British. Everything finally exploded Thursday, July 7, when more than 50 members of his government resigned in two days, forcing the former mayor of London to cede the presidency of the Conservative party.

The succession then turns to programmatic one-upmanship within the party. The various candidates affirm their support for Brexit (even though some were opposed to it at the time), multiply the promises of tax cuts and anti-European tirades. Liz Truss, Boris Johnson’s foreign minister finally wins and takes office as prime minister on September 6.

► Uncertain budgetary measures

The radical economic program of Liz Truss plunges the markets of the United Kingdom into incomprehension. Among the flagship announcements of the new Prime Minister are massive tax cuts, the abolition of the marginal tax rate of 45% above €167,000 of income and the end of the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

These measures, proposed as part of a “mini-budget” on September 23, arouse fear in the markets, which are worried about their financing. Especially since Liz Truss also promises significant aid to the British in the energy sector while the prices of electricity and gas have soared across the Channel.

After the presentation of this budget, the pound sterling fell against the euro and the dollar while interest rates on government loans soared. The situation is forcing the Bank of England to deploy an emergency plan of 65 billion pounds sterling (75 billion euros) to try to limit the consequences. And the polls carried out a few days later reveal the tumble of the Conservative Party against Labour, never so close to regaining power.

► A congress to raise the bar

On October 5, a month after her arrival at 10 Downing Street, Liz Truss appeared before the Conservatives gathered in congress. To regain control in the face of the discontent of the British, it formalizes the abandonment of tax cuts for the wealthiest, announced a few days earlier by the Minister of the Economy Kwasi Kwarteng. She also breaks with the promise of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, to reassess the amount of social assistance, in a context of high inflation in Europe.

► Resignation of the Minister of Economy

Cornered, Liz Truss renounces other measures of her program on October 14: she will finally maintain corporate tax at the current rate, confirming the abandonment of the promised reductions. The same day, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British Minister of Finance, Kwasi Kwarteng is removed from office. He was immediately replaced by Jeremy Hunt, a seasoned politician and defender of a certain budgetary austerity.

Several members of the Prime Minister’s camp openly call for the resignation of the Prime Minister. Under pressure, his government is forced two weeks in advance of the presentation of new measures, announced on Tuesday, October 17. A last-ditch plan to try to reassure the markets and calm the growing discontent in the Conservative ranks.



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