Boris Johnson pledged to ‘fix’ the energy crisis rocking Britain’s domestic politics as it risked overshadowing his trip to New York
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Downing Street has insisted there will be no return to a 1970s style three-day working week as the gas crisis raised fears of a difficult winter.
Boris Johnson has pledged to “fix” the energy price crisis to reassure people their lights would not go out and they would still be able to heat their homes.
The Prime Minister said the Government was “working flat out” with energy companies to guarantee supply.
Wholesale prices for gas have surged 250% since January with a 70% rise since August alone leading to calls from the industry for more support.
It has prompted fears that people may struggle to heat and light their homes while firms which are heavily reliant on energy could be forced to cut their working days.
But Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said there was “no question of returning to that point” as security of energy supply in the UK was solid.
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He said: “Of course it’s important for the public to be reassured that there’s no question of returning to that point thanks to the security of our supply which has been proven both at the height of a global pandemic and at other times as well.”
The PM’s spokesman insisted that no taxpayers’ cash would be used to prop up failing energy businesses after calls for more support for the industry.
He added: “We will obviously want to support the sector recognising they are facing significant challenges.
“We are not going to use taxpayers money to prop up failing businesses.
Appearing at the United Nations summit, Mr Johnson said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was working with energy companies “doing everything we can to help them”.
He told reporters: “We are working hard to find a way through, and to keep a steady supply of gas.
“It’s like when you see a serious frost in your house and when it thaws it’s when you see all the problems.
“The global economy is thawing very rapidly and you’re seeing problems in supply chains, very strong demand for gas around the world, it’s producing this phenomenon causing this.
“We will fix it.
Earlier, Mr Kwarteng told MPs there was “absolutely no question of the lights going out” this winter amid escalating energy prices.
After talks holding crisis talks with the industry on Monday, he claimed it was “alarmist” to suggest people would not be able to heat their homes as the UK had “sufficient capacity” to meet demand.
The Business Secretary insisted the Government will “not be bailing out failed companies” as a result of the crisis and that the energy cap will “remain in place” to protect consumers from “sudden” price increases.
He told MPs: “We have sufficient capacity, and more than sufficient capacity, to meet demand and we do not expect supply emergencies to occur this winter
“There is absolutely no question of the lights going out or people being unable to heat their homes.
“There will be no three-day working weeks or a throwback to the 1970s.
“Such thinking is alarmist, unhelpful and completely misguided.”