Anger as Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng spotted laughing and is accused of taking phone call during Queen’s funeral
The newly-minted Chancellor of the Exchequer was seen laughing and some accused him of taking a phone call during the proceedings of the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Kwasi Kwarteng has received public backlash after he was spotted laughing during the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer was among many of the secretaries of state from new prime minister Liz Truss’ government who attended the late monarch’s state funeral.
Mr. Kwarteng was seated directly behind former prime minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson.
In a 10-second clip that has gone viral on social media, Mr. Kwarteng can be seen laughing and mouthing words as if speaking to someone during the service.
Some members of the public accused the new Chancellor of being caught out “taking a personal call” during the funeral.
Tweeter @LouisHenwood, who posted the footage, said: “Nice to see Kwasi Kwarteng clearly taking a personal call at the Queen’s funeral and having a bit of a laugh.
“The chancellor can’t even show any respect at this most solemn occasion.”
‘Acting very strange’
Another Twitter user then shared another video of him, saying he was ‘acting very strange’ throughout the 2-minute silence.
In the video, he is seen taking off his glasses, wiping his face with his palm and swaying from side to side, seemingly observing the entire room as the majority of the participants stood still.
The clip of him laughing has so far been viewed over 750,000 times with over 5,000 retweets.
Many Twitter users called him out for the “disrespectful behaviour”, saying that this is what the nation could expect to happen as he is set to table a mini-budget to deal with the cost of living crisis on Friday, September 23.
One user said: “Will Kwasi Kwarteng laugh in the same way as he did at the Queen’s funeral when he obliterates the UK economy later this week.”
The mini-budget comes a day after the Bank of England confirmed the UK is officially in a recession, some of the government’s plans have already been confirmed.
Not the first time
This is not the first time the Chancellor has found himself in hot water for supposedly making light of a serious situation.
In 2015, the Spelthorne Tory MP was caught laughing in the House of Commons during a tax credit debate, much to the chagrin of many watching.
The Independent reported that the laughter was loud enough to break out former exchequer secretary Alan Mak’s statement as he attempted to defend the cuts.
Mr Kwarteng has not made a public statement regarding the clips.