Uber for Philp! Croydon MP blamed for disastrous Tory tax cut

Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, is beginning to feel a little sorry for the hapless MP for Croydon South

On his way out?: Chris Philp could become the shortest-lasting Chief Secretary to the Treasury in British history

It’s beginning to look very much like Chris Philp’s time in high office in the government could be about to end before he’s even got his feet under his desk at the Treasury.

It was Clive Anderson who once said, to Jeffrey Archer, “Is there no beginning to your talents?” And Archer, a proven perjurer, was a much more skilled politician than Philp.

In the past few weeks, the Conservative MP for Croydon South has been called a liar nearly 20 times on live television by a union leader, managed to tweet a celebratory message about the strength of the pound, moments before sterling plunged to never-before-seen depths, and now he’s being made to carry the can for his Tory bosses having to make a humiliating policy U-turn over the proposed cut to the 45p rate of income tax.

“It was all Philp’s idea,” was the message being briefed to lobby journalists last night by aides to Prime Minister “Thick Lizzy” Truss, just hours after she had appeared on television herself backing the income tax cut.

And it is only Day 2 of the Conservative Party Conference.

Last week it was, “I’m not going to comment on every tweet I’ve ever sent,” from Philp in front of the broadcast microphones when he was asked about his idiotic comments about sterling (which he has now deleted from the Twattersphere… though not before Inside Croydon and at least a hundred and one other outlets had screengrabbed it for posterity).

Today, facing a grilling from Sky News’s determined Kay Burley (“Was it your idea to scrap the 45p top rate of tax?”), Philp squirmed, “I wouldn’t describe it as my idea, no.”

The cut to the 45p rate of tax, announced in the Chancellor’s disastrous, unaudited Mini-Budget 10 days ago, will have only have helped the very rich become very much richer. People like millionaire property investment tycoon Chris Philp.

Whoops: Philp’s ill-timed, idiotic tweet

But as the Conservatives gathered in Birmingham over the weekend for their annual conference, it was clear that there was a revolt over the policy and a turbulent reaction from markets.

“I can’t support the 45p tax removal when nurses are struggling to pay their bills,” MP Maria Caulfield tweeted as “a working class Tory”, and one who had suddenly discovered a conscience.

“If the Tory Party don’t want this working class MP, fair enough,” Caulfield threatened.

By this morning, Philp’s 45p tax cut idea was binned. “We get it, and we have listened,” Chancellor Kamikaze Kwarteng said.

The Chancellor said the decision to cut tax for people on incomes of £150,000 or more “has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country”.

He continued: “As a result, I’m announcing we are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate.”

Philp’s sometime parliamentary colleague, “Lord” Gavin Barwell, a regular critic of Tory government policy over the last few years, welcomed the U-turn. “But the concerns about the Growth Plan do not solely relate to the abolition of the 45p rate,” said Barwell, who had described himself as “politically homeless” following the Kwarteng Mini-Budget.

Kamikaze does a U-turn: no Chancellor will like issuing this kind of statement

Barwell repeated his previous criticisms of the Chancellor’s measures. “It is still a large package of unfunded tax cuts that will increase borrowing and force the Bank [of England] to sharply increase interest rates.”

And according to ITV political editor Robert Peston, “Why did Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss drop the abolition of the 45p top tax rate? Because super-wealthy donors to the Tory Party told them, ‘We don’t need the money, we don’t want the money and you are bringing us into disrepute’.

“This,” Peston said, “is the highest political farce.”

Taxi for Chief Secretary to the Treasury Philp!

Read more: ‘Rabbit hutch’ flats and the Chief Secretary: Philp’s conflicts
Read more: Philp retains Pluto business interests after Treasury promotion
Read more: After a 38-hour pause for thought, Philp quits government
Read more: Croydon South’s Tory MP called a ‘liar’ 16 times on national TV
Read more: MP Philp’s latest business venture folds due to lack of funds

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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13 Responses to Uber for Philp! Croydon MP blamed for disastrous Tory tax cut

  1. The real scandal is that the Bank of England have just laid out the collosal sum of £68 BILLION to sustain the value of the pound as a result of this idiocy, and it may not end there! What responsibility do Philp and his ilk accept for this state of affairs? The £2 BILLION is insignificant in comparison, except that it stood as a metaphor for privileging the ‘needs’ of those on over £125,00o a year, over those of the other 99% of the population. It comes to something when even Gavin Barwell is seen as the voice of sanity!

  2. John Harvey says:

    Why didn’t KK get CP to announce the retreat?

  3. Chris Flynn says:

    Rather than being complacent with returning to the status quo, Labour should pledge to bump the additional rate to 50%.

  4. James Seabrook says:

    I really have no idea what the Tory party is doing to itself by electing somebody so clearly out of their depth to be a PM. In turn she then brings in to powerful positions people who are clearly out of their depth.

    I was assured personally by CP early on that he was not a career politician. Sorry I can’t help laughing out loud.

  5. derekthrower says:

    Finally gravity seems to be kicking in on the political career of Chris Philp. Undoubtedly he has huge amounts of energy and never seems to turn a media turn down, but he still hasn’t noticed that his charmless and graceless persona is only deployed because it is better than saying the Government was not prepared to put up a spokesman on the matter when asked. He has finally entered the public consciousness with just about the biggest comms failure ever to afflict a new Prime Minister. His days are numbered, because he doesn’t provide fresh ideas, just the incurable certainty and support of a zealot for a failing Government.

  6. John Bartlett says:

    The frequency and harshness of your attacks on Chris Philp MP might carry a little more credibility had you the decency not to hide your identity behind a pseudonym.

    • The Editor’s name is on every page of the website. So your comment shows that you not only lack credibility, but also a sense of humour.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Frequency? Harsh? . He appears to have public foot and mouth disease. I actually feel sorry for him. Seems a likeable jolly person but sadly his nickname should be Calamity Flip Flop. Seriously if it was a ship he would be called Jonah. But basically he is the ultimate fall guy and just keeps doing it without much apparent conscious thought.

      I am sure there are two sides to every story but I watched that program with Mick Lynch and having worked in that industry for a few decades – he was very wrong and his assertions were not only untrue and misrepresentations but were so visibly painfully clear he was reverting to peddling some discreditable generalistic jingoism about Trades Unions. Reminded me of a cowboy ER person I once knew that was also called a liar by Lynch’s predecessor (lot of evidence there too)- that also had a large element of accuracy to it. Made our tasks quite a lot more difficult for no reason other than them thinking of their own ego instead of Public service delivery.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Here was I thinking that was already in practice and called Universal Credit? Even IDS wants to disown how that has been implemented.

      What about ESA? Access for work?

      Does this guy not even know what his own party are doing?

  7. Nick Davies says:

    It doesn’t get any better – from this morning’s Grauniad politics blog. One can only assume he was sent out as cannon fodder in a hopeless situation.

    “This morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, was doing a media round on behalf of the government, and it was two hours of his life that he will probably be keen to forget.”


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