Kwasi Kwarteng

British politician (born 1975)

Akwasi Addo Alfred Kwarteng (born 26 May 1975) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Spelthorne in northern Surrey since May 2010. He was Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from 2021 to 2022, and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the brief government of Liz Truss between September and October 2022. He stood down at the 2024 general election.

Kwasi Kwarteng (2021)

Quotes

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  • Absolutely, 100%, I'm not going anywhere.
    • When asked if he would remain as chancellor in an interview (13 October 2022).
  • The prime minister was ... very dynamic, very forceful. That’s a great strength.
  • I think the prime minister was very much of the view that we needed to move things fast. But I think it was too quick. If you look at it, it was on the 23rd of September. We only got into the office on the 6th of September. And looking back I think a measured pace would have been much better.
  • After the mini-budget we were going at breakneck speed and I said, you know, we should slow down, slow down. She said, "Well, I’ve only got two years" and I said, "You will have two months if you carry on like this". And that is, I’m afraid, what happened.
  • [On Truss sacking him.] People will ask, "If you sacked the person who was doing what you wanted, why are you still there?"
  • These people, political people, but I think particularly people who get to the top, they’re kind of adrenaline junkies.
    They enjoy the challenge. It's like watching or being involved in a kind of action movie yourself. Not to trivialize it, but, you know, you're right at the center of events, you've got a lot of authority. You get to decide things.
    For some people, that's extremely, not only challenging, but incredibly rewarding. And then for that all to stop is, I can see why they want to get back.
  • You just get these empty, this feeling of kind of emptiness. You've got to remember that for a lot of people who are right at the top, they’ve been thinking about this for decades.
    They've been thinking about, you know, becoming an MP, getting into government, maybe getting into Cabinet, you know, all of that.
    They've been on this road, on this journey. And then once you're out, it's over. And so there's a kind of feeling of emptiness. I've seen it and you can see it on their faces sometimes. They're just completely bewildered.
  • [Asked if his observations matched his own experiences] Well, no, I … held high office. I really enjoyed that. It's a great feeling. It's a great honor. It's incredibly interesting. Very nerve racking as well. But I think, I've always tried to be a bit more balanced.
  • [On Liz Truss] I mean, my issue with her was that, having been bold on the entry, … for me, it was a total capitulation at the end. And, I think, I felt let down, frankly.
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