Politics

As Kwasi Kwarteng is sacked, who is the shortest serving UK chancellor ever?

Kwasi Kwarteng leaves Downing Street after being sacked as chancellor
IndyTV

Kwasi Kwarteng’s time as Chancellor is over already after a matter of weeks in office, after being sacked by Liz Truss on Friday.

It comes after widespread criticism following last months’ budget which featured billions of unfunded tax cuts.

The proposed measures caused the pound to tank and the price of mortgages to rise.

Only 24 hours before Kwarteng told reporters that he would “100 per cent” be staying in the role, but he’s now out of a job after flying back early from a visit to the US.

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All in all, his time in office lasted a mere 38 days, marking one of the most calamitous political episodes of recent times.

It’s an incredibly short time to be in the post for, but how does it compare to short-lived careers of the past? These are the UK chancellors who had the shortest stays in office.

Iain Macleod - 30 days

The former Chancellor died of a heart attack in 1970

Kwarteng might have come and gone in the blink of an eye, but he’s not the Chancellor who has served the shortest term in office.

Tory Chancellor Iain Macleod holds the unenviable title after he tragically died suddenly after just 30 days in the role. He served from June 20 to July 20 in 1970. Macleod was part of Edward Heath’s government after serving as shadow chancellor for five years, and he's also credited with first using the term "nanny state".

Baron Denman - 31 days

You have to go back to 1834 to find the second shortest time as Chancellor. Baron Denman served as interim chancellor for 31 days, before being succeeded by Sir Robert Peel.

Nadhim Zahawi - 63 days

Zahawi was appointed by Johnson over the summerTolga AKMEN / AFP via Getty

Back in slightly more recent history, Nadhim Zahawi was made Chancellor in the dying stages of Boris Johnson’s tenure as PM after Rishi Sunak left his role in order to pursue his own leadership bid. He lasted from July 5 to September 6 this year.

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