Boris Johnson And Nadhim Zahawi On Holiday As UK Heads For Economic Meltdown
Prime minister Boris Johnson, chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi, and work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey, during a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau via PA Wire/PA Images)
Boris Johnson and Nadhim Zahawi have been criticised for being on holiday on the day the Bank of England predicted a year-long recession and soaring inflation.
They also hiked interest rated by half of one per cent to 1.75 per cent, increasing mortgage payments by hundreds of pounds.
Labour accused the prime minister and chancellor of being “missing in action” as the full scale of the meltdown facing he UK’s economy became apparent.
The PM went on holiday yesterday and is not expected to be back at his desk until next week.
Zahawi, who took over as chancellor a month ago following the resignation of Rishi Sunak, is away with his family and was not available for broadcast interviews in the wake of Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey’s grim prediction.
However, the pair did hold a call with to discuss the depressing forecasts and the government’s economic plans.
Zahawi said: “For me, like I’m sure lots of others, there is no such thing as a holiday and not working. I never had that in the private sector, not in government. Ask any entrepreneur and they can tell you that.
“Millions of us dream about getting away with our families but the privilege and responsibility of public service means that you never get to switch off, that’s why I have had calls and briefings every day and continue to do so.”
But Abena Oppong-Asare, Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “Families and pensioners are worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills, but the prime minister and chancellor are missing in action.
“The fact they’re both on holiday on the day the Bank of England forecasts the longest recession in 30 years speaks volumes about the Tories’ warped priorities.”
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran said: “The Conservatives have crashed the economy and now neither Boris Johnson or Nadhim Zahawi are anywhere to be found.
“At a time of national crisis we deserve better than these shirkers. Time and again they have been absent in the country’s time of need.
“The very least the British people can ask for is a chancellor and prime minister who will explain how they got us into this mess and what the plan is to solve it.
“We need a general election to finally get rid of this shambolic Conservative government.”
Number 10 has been approached for comment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.