HUMILIATED Kwasi Kwarteng was flying at 36,000ft over the Atlantic when the axe fell on his short time in office.
The ex-Chancellor raced back early from high-level talks with finance ministers in Washington DC.
But by the time he reached the British tarmac, the Prime Minister had decided to brutally sack him after just 38 days — making him the second shortest serving Chancellor in history.
Under-fire PM Liz Truss made the decision about her loyal confidante’s future just hours after he dug in declaring: “I’m not going anywhere.”
Mr Kwarteng paid the price yesterday for the chaos unleashed by his mini-Budget, which has now left the Prime Minister herself clinging on to her job.
The flight back came hours after Mr Kwarteng gave an interview where he said “absolutely 100 per cent” he would be Chancellor in a month’s time.
Regarding his future, he added: “I really enjoy the Treasury. I really enjoy No11.”
But Kwasi had been ordered back from US to hold emergency talks with the PM as their growth plan was unravelling.
Ministers and MPs yesterday woke up to news bulletins that he was coming home — as government stability was falling apart.
He was finally spotted smiling on UK soil at the airport as he got into his chauffeur-driven car to be taken back to No10 for showdown talks where he already knew his fate.
Mr Kwarteng arrived via the back entrance just after noon and left shortly after, having accepted the PM’s request to “stand aside”.
Hours earlier, International Trade Minister Greg Hands appeared on breakfast TV and radio stations to tell the public it is “not unusual” to cut short visits to international summits.
He also said Kwasi’s position in government was “totally” safe, despite weeks of market turmoil.
Senior Tory Mel Stride actually argued the Chancellor needs to be “given space”.
But another Tory MP said: “He was singing from the same hymn sheet as Liz right up until she let him go. He was effectively dragged back and shot.”
Mr Kwarteng delivered the mini-Budget on September 23, but was forced into U-turns which undermined the growth plan.
He spectacularly reversed the decision to abolish the 45p top rate of tax for high earners — and yesterday Ministers abandoned slashing corporation tax from April next year.
The former Eton student said he shared the PM’s “vision of optimism” and vowed to support her from the backbenches.
In their exchange of letters after his sacking, Ms Truss told him: “I deeply respect the decision you have taken today. You have put the national interest first.”
Veteran Tory MP Sir Roger Gale said it was “hard to understand” why she had booted out Mr Kwarteng “for promoting the policies upon which she was elected”.
An upcoming Commons statement on reforms on reforms including immigration, planning and childcare is now tasked to his successor Jeremy Hunt.
Many feel he will form a different relationship with the PM.
Tory MP Steve Brine said: “You should see Liz Truss as chairman and Jeremy as chief executive.”
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves last night said: “This is a Tory crisis made in Downing Street. They have plunged our economy into chaos and crisis with Truss’s discredited trickle down approach. It won’t be forgiven or forgotten.”
KWASI IS SECOND SHORTEST TIME IN POST
KWASI Kwarteng is the second shortest serving Chancellor.
Tory Iain Macleod, inset, survived 30 days before dying of a heart attack in 1970.
The shortest serving PM was Sir Alec Douglas-Home who lasted a year and a day before losing the 1964 election to Harold Wilson.
The second shortest serving PM was Sir Anthony Eden, who lasted one year and 279 days, following the Suez Crisis.