THE UK Government business secretary has been accused of ‘making things up’ after he claimed his department were in talks with the Treasury over the energy crisis.
Kwasi Kwarteng said this morning that there were meetings between the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department and the Treasury regarding the current crisis and what support, if any, could be given to businesses.
Mr Kwarteng told broadcasters he could not yet determine whether there a price cap will be introduced for businesses but added that there have been discussions over “what the nature of that support might be”.
He then 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.”
However shortly afterwards, 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.”
Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the contradictions between two departments showed the UK Government was in chaos.
She said: “In the teeth of a crisis of its own making, the Government has put its out of office on. The Prime Minister has gone on holiday, no one knows where the Chancellor is, and this morning we understand the Business Secretary has entered the realms of fantasy.
“The two key government departments responsible for the current cost of living crisis have spent this morning infighting about whether they were in talks with each other. What a farce. If government ministers can’t even tell the truth about each other, then what hope do we have for the challenges facing our country?
“We need urgent answers on who exactly is running the show. The Government needs to get a grip because the British people are paying the price for the Prime Minister’s incompetence.”