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Tory leadership – latest: Truss and Sunak ‘fighting like rats in sack’ as £5,000 energy price cap forecast

Tory leadership: Sunak emphasizes handouts to tackle cost of living while Truss rejects ‘Gordon Brown economics’

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are accused of “fighting like rats in a sack” over who will be the next prime minister while households are “desperately worried” about how they will pay energy bills this winter.

Labor shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said that the “zombie government” is “doing absolutely nothing” to ease the cost-of-living crisis.

It comes as independent energy consultancy Auxilione said the cap on energy bills could be lifted to an eye-watering £5,000 in spring 2023, a prediction that Ofgem has advised “extreme caution” over.

Mr Reed told Sky News: “Millions of families are desperately worried that they will be going into debt just to pay their energy bills this winter.

“And instead of doing anything to help, this government has Sunak and Truss fighting each other like rats in a sack and the government is doing absolutely nothing about coming up with proposals for how they can help people face this crisis – which is creating and terrifying. “

Earlier, Mr Sunak said he would offer more support to the most vulnerable amid the cost-of-living crisis, while Ms Truss pledged tax cuts and accused him of wanting to impose “Gordon Brown style politics”.

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Truss and Sunak ‘fighting like rats in a sack’ amid energy crisis

Labor has accused Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak of “fighting like rats in a sack” over who will succeed Boris Johnson as PM while millions of households are worried about how they will pay energy bills this winter.

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said that the “zombie government” is “doing absolutely nothing” to ease the cost-of-living crisis amid the Tory leadership race that’s set to continue into September.

It comes as independent energy consultancy Auxilione said the cap on energy bills could be lifted to an eye-watering £5,000 in spring 2023, a prediction that Ofgem has advised “extreme caution” over.

Mr Reed told Sky News: “Millions of families are desperately worried that they will be going into debt just to pay their energy bills this winter.

“And instead of doing anything to help, this government has Sunak and Truss fighting each other like rats in a sack and the government is doing absolutely nothing about coming up with proposals for how they can help people face this crisis – which is creating and terrifying. “

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Ofgem advises ‘extreme caution’ on energy price cap forecasts

Energy regulator Ofgem has responded to a prediction that it could lift the energy price cap to £5,000 a year in spring 2023.

The prediction was made by independent energy consultancy Auxilione, which advises companies on how to reduce their energy use.

Ofgem said: “The wholesale market continues to move extremely quickly so no forecast for next year is at all robust at this stage and will therefore have very limited value, especially for consumers who must always be the main priority.

“We cannot stop others from making predictions but we would ask that extreme caution is applied to any predictions for the price cap in January or beyond.”

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IDS says recession and cost-of-living crisis would be ‘disaster’

A recession on top of the cost-of-living crisis would be an “utter human disaster”, according to Liz Truss’ ally Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

Foreign secretary Ms Truss has appeared to have made a U-turn on her earlier comments about wanting to reduce taxes instead of giving “handouts” to people struggling to pay their bills.

It comes after her Tory leadership rival, former chancellor Rishi Sunak, said he could offer more financial support to the most vulnerable households amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Conservative former minister Mr. Duncan Smith told Sky News: “Liz Truss has been crystal clear from the beginning that should the need arise, she will do whatever is necessary.

“… Right now we face the potential of a recession. If you have a recession on top of this cost-of-living crisis it would be an utter human disaster.

“We need to avoid recession at all costs in the course of this winter, we need to do something about that, that’s where lower tax is important.”

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‘Bigger fish to fry than energy bosses’ pay’ – Commons leader

Commons leader Mark Spencer has said there are “bigger fish to fry” than energy bosses’ high pay amid the cost-of-living crisis that is feared to become a lot worse during the colder months.

On LBC, he was told that one of the chief executives has made almost £11.5 million.

Mr Spencer said: “That seems like a very large figure to me and certainly on my salary and to my constituents that feels like a large figure.

“In the context of things, actually, when there are 65 million people in the country, it’s 30p, 20p, a person, so I think actually there are bigger fish to fry here, which we can try and solve the challenges than to have a pop at the chief exec’s salary.

“I think whilst it sometimes makes great politics, it actually doesn’t affect people’s bills, which we need to be focused on, in the autumn.”

Today, chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are set to meet representatives from the energy firms to press them for a solution.

It comes after independent energy consultancy Auxilione warned that Ofgem could lift the energy price cap to £5,000 a year in spring 2023.

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Energy price cap ‘could be lifted to £5,000 next year’

The cap on energy bills could reach an eye-watering £5,000 next year, according to independent energy consultants.

Regulator Ofgem could be forced to set the cap at £5,038 per year for the average household in the three months beginning next April, they said, which is more than £200 higher than previous forecasts.

Energy consultancy Auxilione – which advises businesses on how to reduce their energy use – also predicted that bills would reach £4,467 in January.

It comes as Tory leadership rivals Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have been grilled on what they would do to help Britons struggling with the record-breaking costs of gas and energy.

Ministers are set to meet with energy bosses later today

(Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Sunak said he would offer more support for the most vulnerable, while Ms Truss has pledged tax cuts.

The new figure of £5,000 was reported just hours before ministers are scheduled to meet representatives from energy companies to discuss the bleak winter ahead.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are set to press the firms for a solution.

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Truss allies claim Sunak resisted attempts to cut Brexit red tape

Two Cabinet ministers backing Liz Truss to become the next prime minister said Rishi Sunak had resisted attempts to cut Brexit red tape.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that, when they had worked with Mr Sunak, he had “dug his heels in” on reforms only possible after leaving the EU.

In the Telegraphthey said the former chancellor refused to scrap the EU’s Solvency II rule, which makes it harder for the UK to invest pension funds in infrastructure projects, and the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

A Sunak campaign source denied the claims as “categorically wrong”, adding that Mr Sunak supported the idea of ​​challenging the EU over unilaterally changing NI’s trading terms.

Mr Clarke and Mr Kwarteng also wrote: “Rishi has given up. He wants people to fear there is no alternative to sliding into recession and that the only option is to stem the bleeding with Labour-lite economic policy.”

It comes after Mr Sunak said he would offer more support to the most vulnerable amid the cost-of-living crisis, while Ms Truss pledged tax cuts and accused her rival of looking to impose “Gordon Brown style politics”.

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Exclusive: Government accused of cost-of-living ‘spin’ after £20m publicity campaign revealed

Ministers have been accused of trying to spin the cost-of-living crisis, after The Independent learned they have ordered a £20m campaign to boast of existing cost-of-living help while refusing to set out a fresh package of assistance with spiraling bills.

Read more from Andrew Woodcock:

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Truss claims she is one of Larry’s preferred cabinet ministers

Liz Truss has claimed Larry the Downing Street cat frequently sits up to her – more than other cabinet members.

And she wants to “build on that relationship”, she said on GB News.

“I already have an extremely positive relationship with Larry. He frequently sits up to me, I think I’m one of his preferred cabinet ministers.”

“One of the many reasons I want to be prime minister is I want to build on that relationship we already have.”

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Ministers to hold crunch talks with energy bosses over price hikes

Energy bosses will face pressure from ministers about how they can help customers cope with rising bills at a crunch meeting today.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will press gas and electricity company executives for solutions to the predicted spike in bills over winter.

The summit with utilities bosses, expected to take place in Downing Street, comes after Cornwall Insight predicted bills are set to soar to around £3,582 in October, from £1,971 previously, before rising even further in the new year.

Executives are being asked to submit a breakdown of expected profits and payouts, as well as investment plans for the next three years.

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Power companies demand action on energy bills

Utility companies – including one of the “big six” domestic energy suppliers – have joined the chorus of demands for Tory leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to set out an improved package of help for consumers facing astronomical bills this winter.

The call from EDF and other suppliers came as Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis said that immediate reassurance over the “cataclysmic” price hikes was needed to avoid mental health damage to millions of people.

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