Kwasi Kwarteng is returning to the UK from Washington earlier than planned, as another small budget turn is expected.
The Prime Minister made a brief appointment with journalists on Friday morning after attending the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, but held a briefing on Thursday night before announcing that he would fly home in the next few hours.
A source close to him dismissed suggestions that this represented a sign of panic and stressed that the prime minister’s focus was on the medium-term fiscal plan.
Mr Kwarteng was expected to return to the UK from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meeting late on Friday, but hasty changes have been made.
Pressed as to why a last-minute schedule change was needed, a Finance Ministry source stressed that it was to negotiate a ‘medium-term fiscal plan’.
The source said that the IMF trip read: “Put things in a global context… a series of global challenges…”
On his return, the prime minister is likely to find a significant portion of his small budget drawn after days of open uprisings among Tory MPs and expectations that another significant flip will appear on the card.
It comes amid speculation in Westminster about the fate of Mr Kwarteng, just weeks into the job, if his financial plans are scrapped in the coming days.
But Mr Kwarteng insisted his position was safe, telling broadcasters: “I’m not going anywhere.”
Meanwhile, growing pressure has been placed on Prime Minister Liz Truss to calm the UK’s financial markets and bail out her administration, whose main pledge is to scrap the corporate tax hike plan. from 19% to 25% is considered by many to be potentially fatal.
Downing Street does not deny the policy could be reversed, even though it was one of Ms Truss’ landmark promises.
Some reports also suggest that the senior Conservatives are plotting the possibility of replacing Ms Truss with a joint ticket of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.
The Times said partisan delegates were among those considering replacing her with a “unity candidate”.