Who is Kwasi Kwarteng and why did he leave British politics? | News

Controversial British Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng announced this week his decision to step down from politics and will not stand in the next general election which must be held by January 28, 2025, but could be held this year.

Kwarteng, 48, has been the Member of Parliament for Spelthorne in Surrey since 2010 and has held senior ministerial positions in the government. He is likely to be best remembered for the financial mayhem he unleashed during his 38 days as Treasury Chancellor in 2022.

He wrote on

His post sparked a mixture of mockery and criticism from left-wing commentators and lawmakers, including sarcastic congratulations for being able to “destroy the economy” of a country in less than three weeks.

Who is Kwasi Kwarteng?

Kwarteng’s election to Parliament as Conservative Member for Spelthorne in the 2010 UK general election coincided with his party’s return to power after 13 years of Labor rule.

When then-Conservative leader David Cameron became prime minister in a coalition government led by the Conservatives with the Liberal Democrats, London-born Kwarteng was about to turn 35, and his future looked bright.

But unlike being born to accomplished Ghanaian immigrants – his father was an economist and his mother a lawyer – Kwarteng arrived at the House of Commons at Westminster with a CV typical of many Conservative politicians.

Indeed, like many of those who held senior positions in Conservative government before him, he was educated at the elite private school, Eton College, which he attended on a scholarship, and then at Cambridge University. He subsequently spent a year at Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar, then returned to Cambridge where he completed his PhD in economic history in 2000.

Ten years later, after stints as a City of London financial analyst and as a columnist for the right-wing Telegraph newspaper, Kwarteng, married to barrister Harriet Edwards since 2019, was elected to one of the world’s oldest law firms. Legislative assemblies in the world.

Why was his tenure as Chancellor so short and controversial?

By the time he was selected for the chancellorship by then-Prime Minister Liz Truss in September 2022, Kwarteng, the first black Briton to hold the lofty state office, had embarked on other ministerial posts. Under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he was Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

However, his time at the helm of the country’s public finances took a disastrous turn when the free-market champion presented a mini-budget to Parliament, which included £45 billion ($56.85 billion) of unfunded tax cuts for the rich, sending financial markets into a tailspin. In collapse.

Tim Bell, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, noted that Kwarteng’s plans “caused the collapse of sterling, put pension funds under pressure, and sent interest rates soaring, costing anyone with a mortgage much more than before, and shredding the country’s reputation.” conservatives with regard to economic efficiency.” “.

As a result, Truss, who was part of the Conservative Party in 2010, sacked her chancellor just 38 days after he was first appointed.

Kwarteng’s replacement as chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, reversed most of his predecessor’s small budget, but the damage to Truss’s reputation also proved politically fatal. The crisis forced her to fall after just 44 days in office, making Truss the shortest-serving Prime Minister and Kwarteng one of the shortest-serving Chancellors in British political history.

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Kwasi Kwarteng, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, leaves 11 Downing Street to present the UK’s fiscal plans in Parliament, in London, UK, on ​​Friday, September 23, 2022. What he announced ultimately sent the financial markets into a tailspin and led to his sacking (Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

How did people react to his decision to step down as MP?

It is likely that Kwarteng was aware that his announcement of

But that has not stopped the build-up elsewhere, with opposition politicians quick to look back on Kwarteng’s time as chancellor in 2022.

Jess Phillips, a member of parliament from the opposition Labor Party, was scathing.

“Kwasi Kwarteng has caused everyone’s mortgages to soar and his tenure as chancellor has been a serious embarrassment,” she wrote on X.

Other Britons on social media were equally sarcastic, including author Otto English, who posted on X: “Kwasi Kwarteng leaves an amazing legacy. I have every faith that his achievement will live on for decades to come. After all, not many people can claim to have destroyed a major economy in less than three weeks.

Is Kwarteng the only Conservative MP to announce his resignation in the upcoming elections?

far from it. Kwarteng, who despite everything remains widely admired for his keen intellect, is just one of more than fifty Conservative MPs who have decided to save themselves at the next UK general election.

According to Professor Bell, recent opinion polls indicating that the opposition Labor Party will crush the Conservatives electorally have made many of the party’s current legislators keenly aware “which way the wind seems to be blowing”.

“A lot of them would rather jump in before their constituents pressure them – it’s easier on their ego and means they get a head start on the post-Westminster job market, which has never been as great as many assume,” Bell said.

He added: “The opposition in the UK political system is largely a futile task – you have no influence on politics, and until you look like you are winning again, even those journalists who used to take you to lunch all the time lose interest in politics.” Anything you have to say.”

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