Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has said he warned Liz Truss she was going too fast with her ill-fated economic plans.
In his first interview since he was sacked by the then PM, Mr Kwarteng told TalkTV he had warned her to “slow down” after September’s mini-budget.
He said he told her it was “mad” to fire him, and she would only last “three or four weeks” if she did.
“Little did I know it was only going to be six days,” he added.
Mr Kwarteng was dramatically fired by Ms Truss in October, two weeks after their tax-cutting mini-budget sparked turmoil in financial markets.
She then ditched almost all of the plan in a bid to stay in power but announced her resignation a few days later – less than seven weeks after taking office – as support from Conservative MPs ebbed away.
Speaking to TalkTV, Mr Kwarteng said that he had warned Ms Truss about going at a “breakneck speed” with economic measures after the mini-budget.
“She said, ‘Well, I’ve only got two years and I said, ‘You will have two months if you carry on like this’. And that is, I’m afraid, what happened.”
He also said: “I think the prime minister was very much of the view that we needed to move things fast. But I think it was too quick.”
Mr Kwarteng, a longtime political ally and friend of Ms Truss, revealed the then-PM was “distressed and emotional” when she called him in to be fired, after summoning him back from a trip to the US.
He also revealed he found out he was going to be sacked when he saw a journalist tweeting about it while he was in the car going to Downing Street.
He said he had told her: “This is mad. Prime ministers don’t get rid of chancellors.”
The former chancellor said he did not think the prime minister could fire him “just for implementing what she campaigned on” during her summer Tory leadership campaign.
He highlighted pledges to scrap a planned increase in corporation tax and reverse a rise in national insurance as having been central to her platform.
Ms Kwarteng’s decision to announce the mini-budget without publishing an assessment by the government’s fiscal watchdog and his repeated commitments to cutting tax were later seen as key to convincing investors that the government did not have a credible plan to keep debt levels under control.
In the interview, Mr Kwarteng acknowledged he had to “bear some responsibility” for the pace of the changes.
Asked whether he would like to apologise to homeowners facing higher mortgage costs after the mini-budget, he replied: “I don’t want to relive the past, I just want to focus on where we are next week. There was turbulence, and I regret that”.
He insisted he and Ms Truss were “still friends” – adding that they last spoke around a week ago. He revealed he had still not returned a missed call from her two days ago but added “I will call her back”.
Mr Kwarteng said he could not be blamed for the government’s current financial problems.
“The only thing they could possibly blame us for is the interest rates, and interests rates have come down and the gilt rates have come down,” he said.
“I mean, it wasn’t that the national debt was created by Liz Truss’ 44 days in government.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt appeared to reject this suggestion.
Asked directly about his predecessor’s comments Mr Hunt said: “Well, all I would say is that when we produced a fiscal statement that didn’t show how we were going to bring our debts down over the medium term.
“The markets reacted very badly and so we have learned that you can’t fund either spending or borrowing without showing how you are going to pay for it and that is what I will do.”