Mr Kwarteng became the UK’s first black Conservative cabinet minister in 2021. A senior figure in former Prime Minster Liz Truss’s government, he was sacked as chancellor in October 2022. He lasted just 38 days in the role after a mini-budget he produced resulted in financial turbulence and a revolt from Tory MPs. The mini-budget of September 2002 included £45bn of tax cuts and was followed by market turmoil, a fall in the value of the pound and rises in the cost of UK government borrowing and mortgage rates.
Announcing his decision not to stand again, he said: “I informed my association chair of my decision not to stand at the next general election. It has been an honour to serve the residents of Spelthorne since 2010, and I shall continue to do so for the remainder of my time in Parliament.”
More than 80 MPs have announced they will leave Parliament at the next election, including more than 50 Conservatives or former Conservatives. Mr Kwarteng is the latest Surrey MP to announce he is standing down. The others are: Sir Paul Beresford in Mole Valley, Crispin Blunt in Reigate, Chris Grayling in Epsom & Ewell, and Dominic Raab in Esher & Walton. There are currently 11 MPs for Surrey but the county will have 12 at the next election due to boundary changes.
Mr Kwarteng secured a majority of 18,393 at the last election. His Spelthorne seat has been a generally safe Conservative one, returning a Labour MP only once in more than 100 years.
Maybe he was a good MP but he was a disastrous Chancellor.