CHANCELLOR Kwasi Kwarteng has blamed the “pressure” of the Queen’s death for mistakes made in the UK Government’s "mini-budget".

It comes after a screeching U-turn on Monday morning saw the top Tory scrap plans to abolish the 45p rate of income tax on earnings over £150,000.

The policy had formed part of a swathe of measures announced in the "mini-budget" which would have seen £45 billion of increased borrowing to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest.

Other parts of the package, such as the end to a cap on bankers' bonuses, are still on the UK Government's agenda.

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Addressing the disastrous impact of his first real statement as Chancellor, Kwarteng blamed the death of the Queen.

He told GB News: "It was a very quick time that we did it. And so you’ve got to remember the context. I mean, what was extraordinary about that month, was that we had a new Government and also we had the sad passing of the Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

"So we had a nation in mourning. And then literally, four days after the funeral, we had the mini budget, it was high speed, high pressure environments. We could have, as David Cameron used to say, prepared the pitch a bit better."

Queen Elizabeth passed on the afternoon of September 8, just two days after Liz Truss had taken over as Prime Minister.

The Chancellor, who is fighting to keep hold of his job less than one month after taking it on, further refuted reports that the budget would be brought forward from November 23.

“People have been reading the runes and the pauses, it’s going to be the 23rd," he said.

He also stumbled on his own U-turn, claiming the scrapping of 45p upper rate of tax had only been "postponed", before saying: “We have decided not to proceed with it.”

Speaking at his party's conference on Monday and in an attempt to quell unrest around his performance, Kwarteng urged the Tories to “focus on the task in hand”.

Kwarteng told Tory members on Monday: “What a day. It has been tough but we need to focus on the job in hand.

“We need to move forward, no more distractions, we have a plan and we need to get on and deliver it.”

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He acknowledged “the plan put forward only 10 days ago has caused a little turbulence” – comments which led to some laughter in the audience.

The Chancellor’s mini-budget triggered turmoil in the City, was criticised by the International Monetary Fund and resulted in a £65 billion emergency intervention by the Bank of England to restore order.

Kwarteng and Prime Minister Liz Truss face a parliamentary bid to dock their pay following their “gross mismanagement” of the economy after the U-turn over axing the top rate of tax.

The Liberal Democrats plan to table a censure motion in the House of Commons calling for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to lose half of their additional salaries paid as part of their roles in Government.