Kwasi Kwarteng has today been sacked as Chancellor after being met with widespread backlash over his latest mini-budget.
Kwarteng was appointed to the role by Prime Minister Liz Truss only 38 days ago, but many detractors believed he was on his way out the door after he unveiled his mini-budget on 23 September – where he notably and controversially announced £45 billion in unfunded tax cuts.
Kwarteng confirmed in a letter written to the Prime Minister and shared to social media this afternoon that he was asked to “stand aside” as Chancellor.
His letter reads in full: “You have asked me to stand aside as your Chancellor. I have accepted.
“When you asked me to serve as your Chancellor, I did so in full knowledge that the situation we faced was incredibly difficult, with rising global interest rates and energy prices.
“However, your vision of optimism, growth and change was right.
“As I have said many times in the past weeks, following the status quo was simply not an option. For too long this country has been dogged by low growth rates and high taxation – that must still change if this country is to succeed.
“The economic environment has changed rapidly since we set out the growth plan on 23 September. In response, together with the Bank of England and excellent officials at the Treasury we have responded to those events, and I commend my officials for their dedication.
“It is important now as we move forward to emphasise your government’s commitment to fiscal discipline. The medium-term fiscal plan is crucial to this end, and I look forward to supporting you and my successor to achieve that from the backbenches.
“We have been colleagues and friends for many years. In that time, I have seen your dedication and determination. I believe your vision is the right one. It has been an honour to serve as your first chancellor.
“Your success is this country’s success and I wish you well.”
Kwarteng’s sacking this afternoon following growing backlash from various sides comes after he suddenly U-turned on his plans to scrap the 45p rate of income tax for the UK’s highest earners at the start of this month.
The change of heart came just 10 days after he unveiled his mini-budget, which led to 10 day of market turmoil and fierce pressure from both within Conservative party and from opposition.
Kwarteng said that the proposals had “become a distraction” in his U-turn statement.
His statement read: “From supporting British business to lowering the tax burden for the lowest paid, our Growth Plan sets out a new approach to build a more prosperous economy. However, it is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country.
“As a result, I’m announcing we are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate.”
Featured Image – Kyle Heller (via 10 Downing Street)
Manchester Airport announces direct flights to Las Vegas from 2024
Manchester Airport has announced that passengers will once again be able to catch a direct flight to Las Vegas from next year.
The bright lights of the fabulous Las Vegas are calling.
When it comes to non-stop flights, those jetting off on holiday from Manchester Airport currently have over 169 exciting destinations in 50 countries to choose from – but now, you can add the party capital of the US to that list, as Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its latest direct route from the Northern hub is Las Vegas.
The Nevada hotspot has always been a popular travel destination, not only because of its legendary nightlife scene, but also thanks to the fact it provides a gateway to the wide range of attractions in America’s West.
The stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Highway, and the major cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, are all within reaching distance from the desert city – which is presumably why Virgin Atlantic has chosen it as its next direct route from Manchester.
Starting from 2 June 2024, three flights a week will depart from Manchester Airport Las Vegas.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and will be added to the US routes already available through the airline from Manchester Airport to Orlando, New York, and Atlanta
The new Las Vegas route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes,” Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe, said of the new flight destination.
“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?