Welcome back, Boris: Outgoing PM makes surprise post-honeymoon appearance at crunch meeting with energy bosses in No10 – just days after Downing Street said he wouldn’t intervene in cost-of-living crisis
- Boris Johnson makes surprise appearance at No10 meeting with energy bosses
- It comes just days after Downing St said outgoing PM would not intervene
- He has been accused of allowing ‘summer of drift’ on cost-of-living crisis
- Mr Johnson spent last week on honeymoon as he sees out his time in office
Boris Johnson today made a surprise appearance at a crunch meeting with energy bosses in Number 10 – just days after Downing Street said he would not intervene in the cost-of-living crisis.
The outgoing Prime Minister joined Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as they grilled gas and electricity company executives over soaring prices.
Already stuggling families were this week stung by new forecasts that showed energy bills for typical households are set to soar to more than £4,200 next year.
Mr Johnson’s presence at the meeting with 15 energy firms was not expected, with Mr Zahawi and Mr Kwarteng previously thought to be the ministers who would lead the talks.
The PM – who spent last week on a belated honeymoon with his wife Carrie at a Slovenian eco-resort – has recently come under pressure from business leaders to end a ‘summer of drift’ over the cost-of-living crisis, as he waits for his successor to be elected.
Labour has branded Mr Johnson ‘disgraceful’ for refusing to intervene as energy bills are estimated to be surging to ever higher levels.
With Mr Johnson now holding a caretaker role after announcing his resignation, Downing Street has insisted any decisions on further support for Britons should be left to the new prime minister.
Number 10 this week said Mr Johnson would not be making ‘major fiscal interventions’ over rocketing household bills.
Mr Johnson repeated this message to energy bosses today, telling them that ‘significant fiscal decisions’ would be made by his successor.
This has prompted fury, with the PM being warned that waiting for either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak to succeed him will be ‘too late’ to avoid families from panicking about how they will afford to heat their homes this winter.
Boris Johnson today joined Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as he made a surprise appearance at a crunch meeting with energy bosses
Mr Johnson’s presence at the meeting was not expected, with Mr Zahawi and Mr Kwarteng previously thought to be the ministers who would lead the talks
Representatives from 15 energy firms attended the talks at Downing Street over the cost-of-living crisis
On Tuesday night, Mr Johnson was photographed using a skipping rope (above) and having a mock sword fight during a reception in the Downing Street garden
As he sees out his days in office, Mr Johnson – as well as his holiday to Slovenia – has steered away from addressing major issues.
He has instead been seen enjoying himself with a ride in a Typhoon fighter jet, playing with military kit while meeting Ukrainian troops in Yorkshire, and also fitting in a visit with the special forces.
On Tuesday night, Mr Johnson was photographed using a skipping rope and having a mock sword fight during a reception in the Downing Street garden.
The PM’s honeymoon to Slovenia followed his wedding bash last month at the Cotswolds estate of billionaire Tory donor Lord Bamford.
The Johnsons were married last year, but could not hold a full-scale event due to Covid restrictions.
The PM is also holding a series of farewell calls with world leaders in his final weeks in power – although a planned visit to meet Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw has fallen through after the Polish premier told Number 10 he was too busy.
The outgoing PM spent last week on a belated honeymoon with his wife Carrie at a Slovenian eco-resort
The Johnsons were married last year, but could not hold a full-scale event due to Covid restrictions
Mr Johnson had a go with a piece of military kit as he met Ukrainian soldiers being trained by the British Army in Yorkshire
As he sees out his time in office, Mr Johnson also enjoyed a joy ride in a Typhoon jet
After his surprise appearance at today’s meeting with energy bosses, Mr Johnson offered little hope of imminent extra support for families.
He said: ‘Countries around the world are feeling the impact of Putin’s damaging war in Ukraine.
‘We know that this will be a difficult winter for people across the UK, which is why we are doing everything we can to support them and must continue to do so.
‘Following our meeting today, we will keep urging the electricity sector to continue working on ways we can ease the cost of living pressures and to invest further and faster in British energy security.
‘We are continuing to roll out Government support over the coming months, including the second £324 instalment of the cost of living payment for vulnerable households, extra help for pensioners and those with disabilities, and the £400 energy bills discount for all households.’