Ed Davey calls for General Election after Chancellor leaves office

We know now that Kwasi Kwarteng is out as Chancellor just hours after Downing Street told the BBC’s Chris Mason that he and Liz Truss were “in lockstep.” Whether he jumped or was pushed is for the journalists to work out.

I would be very surprised if we see them leaving Government in lockstep together, which seems unfair given that he was basically implementing the policies she put forward during her leadership campaign. In fact, he blinked first when the markets first went wild, putting out a statement after what was described at the time as a heated row between him and Truss.

It’s going to be interesting to see who she appoints as Chancellor – and who would be willing to do the job. Could we see Penny Mordaunt in No 11, or some  have suggested Jeremy Hunt.

We just have to wait to see what Liz Truss says at the press conference later this afternoon. She’s not a great one for humility and if there was ever an occasion that called for that in huge amounts, this is it.

While a u-turn, or partial u-turn (a j-turn?) on the Budget of Chaos will likely calm down the markets, the damage has been done to people’s mortgages and they will be feeling that for years to come.

Ed Davey has called for a General Election to get this lot out of office:

This mustn’t just be the end of Kwarteng’s disastrous chancellorship, it should be the death knell of the Conservatives’ reckless mismanagement of our economy. It didn’t suddenly start with Kwarteng but it must end now.

People are angry, fed up and worried about the future. Most of all they are furious that Conservative MPs seem to think this is an acceptable way to conduct the government of our country in these difficult times.

Enough is enough. It started with Boris Johnson failing our country, and now Liz Truss has broken our economy, it is time for the people to have their say in a general election.

Scottish Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton echoed this call:

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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11 Comments

  • The Conservatives holding a general election before 2024 would be a classic case of Turkey’s voting for Christmas.
    With the severe recession coming our way, they would be better off passing the reins to a Labour government and reconstituting their party for another go in five years’ time.
    Nouriel Roubini (Dr Doom) has warned the global economy faces a stagflationary debt crisis. Reckless borrowing has amplified the risks of stubborn inflation and economic stagnation We’re Heading for a Stagflationary Crisis Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen. It is hard to see where he is wrong. These are difficult conditions for any government to address. Financial markets have real world impacts on ordinary people in the rates they pay on mortgages and other loans and on the pensions they receive. Governments that are able to borrow in their own currencies will allow inflation to erode the value of public debts, rather than be over-zealous in curbing increases in the general level of prices.
    We will need a focus on protecting the most vulnerable, particularly policies like a guaranteed minimum income and job guarantees to steer us through this decade.

  • Good interviews with Ed Davey on BBC and Sky News today.

  • Peter Harbour 14th Oct '22 - 4:10pm

    There will be a demand for a general election now in a debate in Westminster Hall on Monday 17th October at 4:30pm.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/619781

    Please spread the word. Almost 600,000 have signed.

  • With the possibility of a snap election due to a collapsing economy and government, it’s about time to start voicing policies and we need new ones, more Charles Kennedy than Nick Clegg and the Tory / LibDem coalition.

    The public has gone left. Even Tory voters want natural monopolies in public hands: energy, rail, water, for many obvious reasons. If we don’t offer that and instead rely on regulations and controls on private Corpn’s that don’t work, they will buy the policy from Labour.

    Voters now want a strong state that helps them. Neoliberalism and globalism is ending. Supply chains are getting much shorter and regionalised. China has had it’s day. The Orange book free market solutions don’t work and never were popular. Now they are less popular than….. (name an ailment ! ).

    The LibDems can express this amount of solidarity with Labour policies to re-enforce tactical voting and get the Tories out, but shout other policies for distinctiveness and a Liberal Green outlook. But it will be difficult to out Green this Labour Party. This is not Gordon Brown.

  • Re: General election now petition.

    The Governments response, reminds us that the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, took some sovereignty away from Parliament – Parliament no longer has a role in deciding when general elections are held.

  • Barry Lofty 14th Oct '22 - 7:51pm

    For the sake of the country and to put us and them out of our misery ,please let’s have an election, then “maybe” we might get a Prime Minister and cabinet with some gravitas who can restore some confidence, respect and leadership in these most troubling times. Although to be honest it would not be good time for the disruption of a GE, but the alternative is very concerning!

  • Why would the Lib Dems be calling for an early election when they’re only on single figures in the polls and could be overtaken by Labour in target seats?

    Ed needs to get his own house in order and give people reasons to vote Lib Dem. That doesn’t mean calling for mass renationalisation (which is a very small c conservative ideology) but it does mean putting forward distinctive liberal ideas.

  • David Garlick 16th Oct '22 - 9:28am

    @john I agree.

  • @Marco: We know Truss won’t call a GE, and nor will any successor. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. The purpose of opponents calling for one is to point out the present goverment’s lack of a mandate from the electorate, and get our spokespeople on the media.
    Of course we have to be prepared in case a GE does happen, although it would take some unexpected and unusual political developments (but if there is one thing we know from recent events it is that we have to be prepared for the unexpected). Our performance in any snap GE will depend much more on what happens during the campaign than our current poll ratings. In many of our target seats we have relentlessly coached voters to understand that we, not Labour, are the principal challengers to the Tories.

  • Peter Davies 16th Oct '22 - 4:30pm

    We know Truss won’t call an election but I don’t think we can say for certain a successor wouldn’t. A new Tory prime minister would have two choices: enact a series of popular policies including economic ones they don’t agree with or go straight away and campaign as a new party with all our current problems blamed on Truss.

    I wouldn’t expect them to get a new leader or call a general election before the boundary commission changes are enacted. It only gives them a handful of extra seats but a number of their MPs must be realising that the only chance of a successful chicken run is to have their seat abolished.

  • Alex Macfie – A new PM who has been elected unopposed may find it politically untenable to carry on without a GE.

    I feel it is complacent to rely on a) the call for an election being a bluff and b) if there was an election we’ve told people the correct way to vote. As you always say we can’t just instruct the public how to vote.

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