Jeremy Hunt says he is ‘trying to achieve the same things as Liz Truss’ and ‘denies long-term effects of mini-budget’

18 June 2024, 06:25 | Updated: 19 June 2024, 07:41

Jeremy Hunt was made Chancellor by Liz Truss
Jeremy Hunt was made Chancellor by Liz Truss. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Jeremy Hunt has said he is "trying to achieve some of the same things" as Liz Truss, whose mini-budget in 2022 is widely considered to have crashed the pound and caused soaring mortgage rates.

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The Chancellor said the shortest-serving Prime Minister's plans were a "good thing to aim for" as he denied the long-term economic impact of the mini-budget.

In a recording obtained by The Guardian, Mr Hunt said Ms Truss "accepted the mistakes she'd made with good grace" and said he wanted to adopt her plans, though "more gradually".

Asked about the long-term, negative impacts of her economic policies, Mr Hunt said: “No I don’t think it’s had an effect. I don’t think it’s the main cause.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Getty

Mr Hunt has not been front and centre during the General Election campaign so far as he fights to keep his seat in Godalming and Ash.

Speaking at a local hustings event, Mr Hunt also added: “I speak tonight as Jeremy Hunt...I’m not always going to take the government line.”

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Ms Truss has repeatedly insisted her economic policies, brought together by her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, did not cause soaring mortgage rates.

She has admitted the economic measures were implemented too quickly, though denied "crashing the economy".

Ms Truss eventually sacked Mr Kwarteng, replacing him with Mr Hunt.

Asked about her legacy last September, she said: "I do want to challenge this phrase 'crashed the economy.'

"The fact is that since I left office both mortgage rates and gilt rates have gone higher than they were at the time of the mini-budget.

"So I do think you are repeating a line to take from the Labour Party when you say that."

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The Labour Party has said Mr Hunt's remarks show the Conservatives are “addicted to dangerous Trussonomics”.

Mr Hunt's comments also represent a different reading of Ms Truss' time in office compared with Rishi Sunak, who previously said: “Two years ago I wasn’t afraid to repeatedly warn about what her economic policies would lead to”.

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