The foreign secretary has said “mistakes happen” after the government performed a number of U-turns this week – but insisted replacing Liz Truss as prime minister will not calm the markets.
James Cleverly said the government does “not aim to make mistakes” but “in life, in politics, in business, mistakes do happen”.
He told Sky News’ Kay Burley at Breakfast programme: “What you’ve got to do is recognize when they’ve happened to have the humility to make changes.
“The prime minister and the chancellor have learned lessons from what happened previously.”
Truss in perilous position as she prepares first PMQs since mini-budget ripped up – follow politics live
Mr Cleverly also insisted replacing Ms Truss would not do anything for the country or the markets after they spiraled into turmoil nearly a month ago after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget announcement.
On Friday, Mr Kwarteng was replaced as chancellor by Jeremy Hunt who reversed nearly all the commitments made by his predecessor on Monday.
A YouGov poll taken on Monday and Tuesday found a majority of Tory members think Ms Truss should go and have buyers’ remorse as more think Rishi Sunak, who lost out to Ms Truss, would be a better PM.
But Mr Cleverly said: “What I’m far from convinced by is that going through another leadership campaign, defenestrating another prime minister, will either convince the British people that we’re thinking about them rather than ourselves, or convince the markets to stay calm and ensure things like those bond yields and gilt yields start coming back down.
“I totally get it. But that’s an emotional response, it’s not a plan. And the prime minister’s got a plan. The chancellor, he’s got a plan.”
On Wednesday morning, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced the rate of inflation rose to 10.1% in September after food prices soared – up from an annual rate of 9.9% in August.
Mr Cleverly said he would not be pre-empting the chancellor’s “medium-term fiscal plan” announcement next Monday but promised the Treasury’s decisions “will be very much informed by those figures”.
He said the 10.1% figure is “significantly lower than we’re seeing in many other parts of the developed world” and promised the chancellor and his team will reveal “a full package of measures”.