Angela Rayner has called for an investigation into Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng over his alleged “budget day” cocktail party. This comes amid reports that the chancellor attended a private champagne reception hours after delivering his mini-budget. It has been alleged that hedge fund managers who would gain from a crash in the pound egged him on to commit to his plans.
According to the Times, the Chancellor gave guests at the reception insights into forthcoming government spending cuts.
The event reportedly took place at the Chelsea home of Andrew Law, a financier and Conservative Party donor, on the evening of Friday, September 23.
Writing on Twitter about the reports, Ms Rayner said: “This is alarming behaviour. The Chancellor faces incredibly serious questions about his conduct.
“These claims now need to be thoroughly investigated to determine if the Ministerial Code has been broken.”
Around 30 people are thought to have been in attendance at Mr Law’s party including the stockbroker Howard Shore; the Swiss-born London banker Sir Henry Angest; Lord Leigh of Hurley, a corporate financier; Selva Pankaj, a merchant banker and investor; and Jake Berry, the Conservative Party chairman.
Others present included William Salomon, a senior partner at Hansa Capital, and Andrew Dawber, director of Civitas Investment Management.
According to the Times, some guests explicitly told Mr Kwartng to “double down” on his policies.
The Government’s plans include cutting the basic rate of income tax from 20 to 19 percent and abolishing the 45 percent top rate of tax.
The planned corporation tax increase, which was set to rise from 19 percent to 25 percent, will also be axed.
Meanwhile, stamp duty will be cut for homebuyers.
In the wake of the announcement, the pound fell to a record low against the dollar. And on Monday morning, borrowing costs reached their highest levels since August 2008.
Earlier this week, the Bank of England was forced to intervene over a “material risk” to the UK economy and it announced it will start buying bonds in order to stabilise what it described as “dysfunctional markets”.
Ms Truss has been on a charm offensive this week in an attempt to reassure voters and MPs that the policies will pay off.
Many MPs have expressed doubt over how long the Prime Minister will last.
One senior Conservative MP told the Sun: “The Government has gone bananas. It is like the place is burning down and there are just a few crazies outside saying we have got to carry on.
“There are dozens of MPs who would rebel on the Finance Bill — it would get to 40 and overturn her majority.”
Another MP said: “I think we have lost the election.”
Meanwhile, many senior Tory MPs, including Rishi Sunak, David Davis, Sajid Javid and Mel Stride, are reportedly planning to boycott the Conservative Party Conference, taking place in Birmingham this week.
The former Chancellor reportedly plans to be in Yorkshire instead, with an ally of Mr Sunak telling the Sunday Times he plans to give UK Prime Minister Liz Truss “all the space she needs to own the moment”.
According to the Sun, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have been personally ringing MPs to kill off the impending mutiny.
This comes after the Labour party held a record lead in the polls earlier this week.
The YouGov poll, based on a survey of 1,712 voters on 28 and 29 September, presented a damning picture for the Conservatives, with Labour taking a 33-point lead.