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Oh yes he did!

October 11, 2021 2:17 PM

nnb5Oh no he didn't!

In the midst of a growing energy price crisis we had the extraordinary scene reminiscent of the best Punch and Judy show of various parts of the government arguing with itself in the media

An internal row over the government's response to the gas and energy crisis erupted into the open in dramatic fashion on Sunday afternoon.

It all started when Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, went on Sky News to discuss the escalating energy costs to business. He said "What I'm very clear about is we need to help them get through this situation - it's a difficult situation, gas prices, electricity prices are at very high levels right across the world and of course I'm speaking to government colleagues, particularly in the Treasury, to try and see a way through this,"

But did he?. Later in the day Treasury sources told Sky News: "This is not the first time the BEIS secretary has made things up in interviews. To be crystal clear, the Treasury are not involved in any talks." In a government becoming famous for making things up Mr Kwateng is obviously destined for higher things!

With Robert Jenrick the normal apologist in media interviews now fired from the government it was left to Damian Hinds to reject accusations that the business secretary was 'making things up' in claiming he lobbied chancellor to help firms when he did the early morning interviews

So there we have it. In the midst of a crisis with industry saying they may have to cut or stop production the government have come up with any constructive propsals, indeed cant even agree whether they are discussing the issue

In the real world Gareth Stace, the director general of UK Steel a body which represents the sector has been saying "We're asking very much the same, because when government says, 'We're not going to do any bailouts', that's not what we're asking for, What we're asking for is, 'Hey, government, we've been telling you for a decade that your policies add something like £55m that we pay in the UK, as the steel sector, that our competitors in, say, Germany don't pay.' Historically that puts us at a competitive disadvantage."

He called on Johnson to "bang ministerial heads together, take control and remember that if he does nothing, then his levelling-up ambition will be left in tatters".

That may be difficult as our Prime Minister takes a Spanish family holiday in the middle of the crisis probably to compensate for having to cut short his August holiday when he was also away as the Taliban took Kabul.

Crisis, what crisis?