Truss doesn't answer a question in parliament about the firing of Kwarteng.
The opposition Labour Party said that Prime Minister Liz Truss was "scared of her own shadow" because she didn't show up in parliament on Monday to answer a question about why former Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng was fired last week.
At one point, the leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, who was filling in for Truss, said, "The prime minister is not under a desk." This was in response to taunts from opposition parties.
Mordaunt said that the PM's absence was for a "very real" reason, but she didn't say what that reason was.
Truss came to parliament right at the end of the debate so she could hear her new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, talk about the economy. She didn't say anything and left after less than 30 minutes.
Labour had asked Truss to say something about "replacing the Chancellor of the Exchequer in light of the current economic situation." Instead, Mordaunt spoke on behalf of the government.
She said, "The PM is being held for urgent business," which made opposition party lawmakers laugh.
Monday, the government got rid of Truss's economic plan and cut back on her huge energy subsidy. This was one of the biggest policy reversals in British history, and it was done to stop a big drop in investor confidence.
"It's time for leaders to take charge, but where is the Prime Minister?" asked Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, to cheers from his lawmakers in parliament.
Mordaunt ran against Truss for Conservative Party leader in the summer, but she backed the eventual winner when she was out of the race. In response, she praised Truss for changing her mind.
"Politically and personally, our prime minister would have had to make a very hard choice," she said. "But she took it anyway, and she did it because it was clear that it was in the national interest."
In a loud meeting where Truss's political opponents criticised her for being absent, Mordaunt insisted that Truss was not, as one questioner put it, "cowering under her desk."
When asked if Truss could really still be in charge if she wasn't in parliament, she said she didn't think there had been a coup.
Starmer said that the government was doing things that would hurt the economy in the long run.
"Once you crash a car going 100 miles per hour, the damage is done for good, and your insurance rates will be much higher for years to come," he said. "And the people who work will pay."