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No flea problem in Downing Street after huge spend on new carpets, says Hunt

No flea problem in Downing Street after huge spend on new carpets, says Hunt


Jeremy Hunt tackled the flea problem highlighted by Liz Truss in Downing Street by replacing carpets at great personal cost.

The Chancellor, who was tasked by Ms Truss to sort out the economic mess created by the mini-budget, said he had also sorted out the problems at flat No 11.

Mr Hunt defended Ms Truss's desire as Prime Minister to cut taxes, but said she had gone about it wrong.

In her book 10 Years To Save The West, Mrs Truss, who lived in the more spacious No. 11 apartment rather than the one above No. 10, said the place was infested with fleas, possibly be because of Boris Johnson's dog Dilyn, although there is no conclusive evidence.

Mrs. Truss said the whole place needed to be sprayed with flea spray and I spent several weeks itching.

At an event in Washington DC, Mr Hunt confirmed he had taken a more drastic and costly approach.

“I actually live in the apartment that Liz Truss and Boris Johnson lived in before that,” he said.

She only stayed there for less than 50 days. I had a little more time, when I found out I was going to move there, and I replaced all the carpets at my own expense, because it had to be a security-certified company that did it.

So I'm happy to say that the Hunt family has not had a flea problem.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt paid for stack number 11 out of his own pocket. Credit: James Manning/PA

Speaking at the Semafor Global Economy Summit, Mr Hunt said: Liz Truss made me chancellor and we had a very good personal relationship. She is very open about the fact that she has made mistakes.

I would say some of the things she was aiming for were the right things. She said the fundamental existential question for Western countries is how to achieve healthier growth rates for our economy. I agree with that.

And she said we need to reduce the tax burden, and from a European perspective, if we look around the world, I think it's blindingly obvious that North America and Asian countries are experiencing faster growth and have a lighter tax burden.

And I think we need to get the UK back in the direction of tax relief. But she did it wrong.

The chancellor said it was possible to cut taxes without increasing borrowing.

Mr Hunt added: “That's what scared the markets, the idea of ​​cutting taxes in such a way that you couldn't demonstrate where the money was coming from. I think we've shown that it's possible to do the same thing in a way that works.

Jeremy Hunt was recruited by Liz Truss following the mini-budget Credit: House of Commons/AP

Ms Truss called for fundamental reforms to the UK's economic architecture, scrapping the Office for Budget Responsibility and replacing Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.

Mr Hunt acknowledged there were problems with the way economic forecasts were made.

He said: We definitely need to improve our forecasts. In the case of the UK, our greatest weakness lies in forecasting labor market performance and stress, but we need to do better in this area.

But the chancellor insisted that the UK was winning the battle against inflation and that the economy had enjoyed a soft landing compared to the scale of the recession that had been feared.

On ITV's Peston, Ms Truss said she was blindsided by vulnerabilities in the pension system which were exposed when the market was spooked by her first chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget.

She said: Certainly, if we had known the scale of the powder keg, of course we would have proceeded differently. We just didn't know it.

And all the plans that we developed were developed with Treasury officials. We did the costing, it was put in the book which accompanied the mini-budget. So there was no sense that what we were doing was a high-risk strategy.




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