Prime Minister Liz Truss denies top-rate tax rethink just hours before Kwarteng U-turn

  • The prime minister was unequivocal in interview - before U-turning just hours later

Prime Minister Liz Truss emphatically denied backtracking on axing the 45p top rate of income tax - less than 14 hours before her chancellor U-turned on the controversial policy.

Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Monday morning that the government would not be proceeding with the proposals, which had drawn a furious reaction from backbenchers and unsettled financial markets.

But on Sunday evening the prime minister was still holding the line on the plans, telling ITV News in an interview at the Conservative party conference that she was undeterred.

In an interview with ITV News Anglia, political correspondent Emma Hutchinson asked her: "So you won't change your mind on the 45p rate?"

The prime minister replied: "No."

She then went on to explain that the measures unveiled in the mini-budget on 23 September were aimed at increasing "economic growth".

The reversal on Monday led to the pound rebounding in early trading, after Mr Kwarteng admitted the cut had been "the wrong thing to do".

The plans would have seen the top rate for those earning more than £150,000 cut from 45% to 40%.

The proposal sparked anger from across the political spectrum for handing a tax cut to the highest earners as the country battled a cost-of-living crisis and sky-high energy bills.

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