Jeremy Hunt returns to government on chaotic day at Westminster

Hunt was named as chancellor, succeeding Kwasi Kwarteng in the role.

Jeremy Hunt returns to government on chaotic day at Westminster Flickr

Jeremy Hunt was named as the new chancellor on a hectic day in Westminster following the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng.

Prime Minister Liz Truss removed Kwarteng from his role after market turmoil in the wake of the mini-budget.

In a press conference on Friday, Truss confirmed that Hunt had been appointed to the position at No 11 Downing Street.

The Conservative leader also announced a major U-turn on her corporation tax plans, breaking a campaign promise not to go ahead with raising the rate to 25%.

Hunt’s appointment sees the return of an experienced government figure to the Cabinet table.

First elected as an MP in 2005, he took on his first government role under David Cameron when the Tories came to power in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

He spent two years as culture secretary, as well as having responsibility for the Olympics, along with for media and sport.

However, Hunt is probably best known for his time as health secretary, a position that he held from September 2012 until July 2018, first under the premiership of Cameron and then that of Theresa May.

In his time as health secretary, he faced criticism over his handling of plans to introduce new contracts for junior doctors.

It led to medics taking part in a series of walk-outs in 2016, which left emergency care uncovered.

During the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, Hunt was in favour of remaining.

But he later committed to trying to help the Government secure a Brexit deal and was named as foreign secretary in July 2018 after Boris Johnson’s resignation.

Hunt went on to face Johnson in the Conservative leadership contest of 2019, although ultimately lost out.

Since then, Hunt has not served in the government, but held a role as chair of the Health and Social Care Selected Committee.

In March 2020, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Hunt voiced criticism of the Government’s response to the spread of the virus.

He also voted against his former leadership rival, Johnson, in the vote of no confidence earlier this year and urged colleagues to do the same.

Truss will now hope that Hunt can help steady the markets and calm the economy, while helping to support people across the UK struggling with the rising cost of living.

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