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‘Damage is done’: what the papers say after Truss and Kwarteng’s tax U-turn

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng pay the price for their 45p U-turn on the cover of the major papers this morning.

The Guardian front page says “Tory plot to halt benefit cuts after U-turn over top tax rate”. It says Kwarteng stands “humiliated” and has also been forced to bring forward to this month a new mini-budget that wasn’t due until late November.

The Telegraph has “PM takes on rebels in battle to rein in benefits”. It says Truss now faces opposition to universal credit cuts.

There is similar treatment in the i, which says “Truss faces new Tory rebellion on benefits cuts”. It says tensions are mounting over her leadership and there is a “powerful new awkward squad” on the block that includes Michael Gove and Grant Shapps.

The Financial Times splashes with “Kwarteng quickens debt cut plans after U-turn on tax”. Medium-term fiscal aims and forecasts are expected to be published this month, it says. Meanwhile, “sterling and gilts rally” after the 45p U-turn.

Others step back to take in the sheer spectacle. “Calamity conference” – that’s the Mirror, which says “Damage is done” and despite U-turns “Budget chaos will still cost billions”.

“What a day!” – some understatement in the Metro. It says Kwarteng still insists he can turn round the economy.

“Get a grip!” says the Mail ominously, echoing Tory MPs after the “screeching late-night reversal” on the top tax rate and now the “threat of new revolt on benefits”.

“Tories will live or die by economy, warns Patel” – the Times calls this a warning shot over Truss’s head from the back benches.

The Express provides today’s laughs: “PM: stick with us and we WILL reward your trust”. It turns Truss’s reversal into “listening to people’s concerns”.