Boris Johnson news – live: Government ‘confident' of winter gas supply as France calls sub deal ‘huge mistake'

LIVE – Updated at 18:58

© AP boris-johnson

Australia has made a “huge mistake” by cancelling a major submarine contract with France in favour of a deal with the UK and US, the French ambassador to the country has said.

French envoy Jean-Pierre Thebault said on Saturday that the original arms agreement between the French and Australian governments was supposed to be based “on trust, mutual understanding and sincerity.”

It came after France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia in a dramatic escalation of diplomatic tensions over the new AUKUS alliance.

Meanwhile, the UK government is holding urgent talks with senior figures in the energy industry to discuss a sudden rise in wholesale gas prices which has led to a CO2 shortage, potentially risking the food supply chain.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted on Saturday that the UK’s gas supplies were stable, while the chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association warned that the CO2 shortage was “undoubtedly a crisis”.

Key Points

  • ‘Huge mistake’: Ambassador criticises Australia’s cancellation of submarine contract
  • France recalls US and Australian ambassadors in protest at AUKUS submarine deal
  • Government ‘does not expect’ winter gas supply emergencies, minister says
  • Ministers urged to step in to protect food supply chain after rise in gas prices
  • France-AUKUS row could cause ‘deep damage for Nato’, former ambassador says
  • Gavin Williamson ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure from Cabinet
  • Government ‘confident’ winter gas supply won’t be affected by global demand surge

07:50 , Conrad Duncan

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of UK politics today.

France recalls US and Australian ambassadors in protest at AUKUS submarine deal

07:59 , Conrad Duncan

France has taken the dramatic step of recalling its ambassadors to the US and Australia in protest at being pushed out of a multibillion-pound submarine deal.

Diplomatic relations between France and countries in the new AUKUS alliance have been strained after Australia revealed that it would pull out of a contract with the French government to supply defence submarines in favour of a rival deal with the UK and US.

Our reporter, Helen Elfer, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

France recalls US and Australia ambassadors over submarine deal

Recalling envoys justified by ‘unacceptable AUKUS behaviour’, French minister says

08:14 , Conrad Duncan

The decision to recall France’s ambassadors to the US and Australia is justified by the “unacceptable behaviour” of the AUKUS alliance, a French minister has said.

In a statement, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that he was acting on the instructions of the country’s president Emmanuel Macron when he made the shock move on Friday.

France is angry over an announcement this week that the UK and US had agreed to help the Australian navy acquire for the first time a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, cancelling a £30bn deal for France to supply submarines in the process.

“This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States,” Mr Le Drian said.

He added that their actions constituted “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners, whose consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe”.

Although the minister made no mention of recalling the French ambassador to London, it is unlikely that the UK will completely escape the diplomatic fallout.

Boris Johnson is reported to have brought together US president Joe Biden and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June ahead of the deal.

Gavin Williamson ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure from Cabinet

08:22 , Conrad Duncan

Former education secretary Gavin Williamson is reportedly being tipped for a knighthood in Boris Johnson’s next honours list following his departure from the Cabinet this week.

The Tory MP, who was sacked following a series of missteps in office, declined to comment about the rumour when approached by The Telegraph, saying that he had not heard about the claim.

Our reporter, Zaina Alibhai, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Gavin Williamson ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure as Education Secretary

Ministers ‘set to hold talks with energy industry’ over rise in gas prices

08:38 , Conrad Duncan

The government is set to hold talks with energy industry representatives over concerns about a rise in wholesale gas prices, it has been reported.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will talk with chief executives from gas producers, suppliers and regulator Ofgem on Saturday to discuss the extent of the impact of the surging prices, according to the BBC.

The rise has been blamed on high global demand, maintenance issues and lower solar and wind energy output.

Government sources have reportedly told the BBC that there is no threat to the UK’s gas supplies, but potential impacts on small energy companies most at risk of exposure are being monitored.

“The UK benefits from having access to highly diverse sources of gas supply to ensure households, businesses and heavy industry get the energy they need at a fair price,” a government spokesperson told the broadcaster.

“We are monitoring this situation closely and are in regular contact with the food and farming organisations and industry, to help them manage the current situation.”

France-AUKUS row could cause ‘deep damage for Nato’, former ambassador says

08:58 , Conrad Duncan

France’s row with the UK, US and Australia over a deal for nuclear-powered submarines is “far more than just a diplomatic spat” and could cause “deep damage” for Nato, a former ambassador to the country has said.

Lord Peter Ricketts told BBC Radio 4’s Today show on Saturday that the recall of ambassadors from the US and Australia by the French government was just “the tip of the iceberg”.

“I think there is a deep sense of betrayal in France because this wasn’t just an arms contract,” Lord Ricketts said.

“This was France setting up a strategic partnership with Australia and the Australians have now thrown that away and negotiated behind the backs of France with two Nato allies, the US and UK, to replace it with a completely different contract.

“I think for the French, this looks like a complete failure of trust between allies. Therefore, causing them to doubt, what is Nato for?”

He added: “You might remember that President Macron described Nato as ‘brain dead’ 18 months ago.

“I think he will be confirmed in that view and this puts a big rift down the middle of the Nato alliance, pushes France towards doing more with other European countries, puts Britain very much in the camp with the Americans in dealing with the Indo-Pacific.

“But Britain needs a functioning Nato alliance and my worry is that this does deep damage to Nato, going well beyond the diplomatic row over an arms deal.”

© Provided by The Independent Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced the new AUKUS alliance (Australia, UK and US) with Boris Johnson earlier this week (EPA)

Health minister at centre of cronyism allegations sacked in reshuffle

09:20 , Conrad Duncan

A health minister who was at the centre of a series of controversies over the government’s handling of the Covid crisis has been sacked in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, it has emerged.

Lord Bethell said on Friday that he was “sad to be standing down” from the Department of Health and Social Care after joining the department in March 2020.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Health minister at centre of cronyism allegations sacked in reshuffle

UK likely to see high energy prices for rest of year, expert warns

09:39 , Conrad Duncan

The UK is likely to face high energy prices for the rest of the year following a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices, a former head of the regulator Ofgem has warned.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is holding talks with industry representatives today over the issue.

Dermot Nolan, a former Ofgem chief executive, told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that the increases were the result of depleted stocks following a cold winter last winter, reduced supply from Russia, and increased demand for liquefied natural gas from the Far East.

“It is not obvious to me what can be done in the very short run,” Mr Nolan warned.

“Britain does have secure relatively diverse sources of gas, so I think the lights will stay on.

“But I am afraid it is likely in my view that high gas and high electricity prices will be sustained for the next three to four months.”

He added: “It is very difficult to see what the government can do directly in this regard.”

Ministers urged to step in to protect food supply chain after rise in gas prices

09:48 , Conrad Duncan

Ministers are being urged by meat producers to step in to protect the food supply chain following a sharp rise in gas prices which has led to a cut in the supply of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the industry.

Two large fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire – which produce CO2 as a by-product – have shut as a result of the sudden hike in wholesale gas prices.

The chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association warned on Saturday that the gas was essential to both the humane slaughter of livestock and extending the shelf-life of products.

“If we haven’t got the CO2 supplies, on the packaging side that reduces the shelf-life of products going on the shelves at a time when we are really struggling because of all the transport problems,” Nick Allen told BBC Radio 4’s Today show.

“This has come as a huge shock, it has happened so quickly. I think everyone is outraged in the industry that these fertiliser plants can shut down without any warning whatsoever and suddenly take something which is so essential to the food supply chain off-stream just like that.”

Mr Allen added: “We really need government to step in now and actually do something.”

ICYMI: US insists France is ‘vital ally’ amid AUKUS row

10:07 , Conrad Duncan

Earlier today, the US insisted that France was a “vital ally” after Paris recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia over the decision to form a new strategic alliance (AUKUS) for Indo-Pacific security arrangement.

“France is a vital partner and our oldest ally, and we place the highest value on our relationship,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, adding that Washington was hoping to have discussions on the issue at a senior level in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Emily Horne, a National Security Council spokesperson, said that the Biden administration had been in close contact with French officials over the row.

“We understand their position and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences, as we have done at other points over the course of our long alliance,” Ms Horne said in a statement.

“France is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners, and we share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges.”

‘Huge mistake’: Ambassador criticises Australia’s cancellation of submarine contract

10:28 , Conrad Duncan

Australia’s surprise cancellation of a major submarine contract with France in favour of a deal with the UK and US is a “huge mistake”, the French ambassador to the country has said.

“This has been a huge mistake, a very, very bad handling of the partnership,” French envoy Jean-Pierre Thebault said on Saturday as he left his residence in the capital of Canberra.

He added that the arms agreement between Paris and Canberra was supposed to be based “on trust, mutual understanding and sincerity.”

The deal scraps a 90 billion Australian dollar contract with French majority state-owned Naval Group, signed in 2016, to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines.

“I would like to be able to run into a time machine and be in a situation where we don’t end up in such an incredible, clumsy, inadequate, un-Australian situation,” Mr Thebault said of the row.

The French ambassador previously noted that he found out about the new submarine deal from the Australian press, with French officials not informed about any “substantial changes” ahead of the public announcement.

© Provided by The Independent (AP)

Government ‘does not expect’ winter gas supply emergencies, minister says

10:40 , Conrad Duncan

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has insisted that the government “does not expect” gas supply emergencies this winter amid concerns about rising wholesale gas prices.

“Today, I’ll be speaking to chief executives of the UK’s largest energy suppliers + operators to discuss the global gas situation,” Mr Kwarteng wrote on Twitter.

“Britain has a diverse range of gas supply sources, with sufficient capacity to more than meet demand.

“We do not expect supply emergencies this winter.”

It is understood Mr Kwarteng has meetings on Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon with senior executives from Ofgem, Centrica, National Grid, Energy UK, Octopus, Ovo, SSE, EDF, ScottishPower, Shell Energy, E.ON, Bulb and SGN.

Today, I’ll be speaking to chief executives of the UK’s largest energy suppliers + operators to discuss the global gas situation

Britain has a diverse range of gas supply sources, with sufficient capacity to more than meet demand

We do not expect supply emergencies this winter

— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) September 18, 2021

10:52 , Conrad Duncan

Our reporter, Lamiat Sabin, has more details below on the concerns over the sudden rise in wholesale gas prices:

© Provided by The Independent

Government ‘does not expect’ gas supply emergencies in winter amid price rise crisis

Fuel price hikes ‘will force families to choose between heating and eating this winter’

11:10 , Conrad Duncan

People on the poverty line will be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter due to a “triple whammy” in the cost of living, experts have warned.

Annual gas and electricity bills are expected to soar by up to £280 after wholesale energy prices shot up, while the end of both the furlough scheme and the Universal Credit uplift risk creating a living standards crisis.

Our reporter, Jane Dalton, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Fuel hikes will force ‘heat or eat’ choice on poorest, ministers told

Senior Tory MPs are ‘right to voice serious concerns’ about benefit cut, charity says

11:23 , Conrad Duncan

Senior Conservative MPs are “right to voice serious concerns” about government plans to cut £20-per-week from Universal Credit, a charity official has said.

Dan Paskins, director of UK Impact at Save the Children, urged ministers on Saturday to rethink the decision and keep the uplift, which was first introduced for the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that almost half (47 per cent) of those on Universal Credit – equivalent to nearly 3 million claimants – say they don’t think they’ll be able to live on a household budget that’s £20 per week lower,” Mr Paskins said.

“Senior Conservative MPs, including the architect of Universal Credit Iain Duncan Smith are right to voice serious concerns and give the UK government the opportunity to rethink this decision in a Commons vote on Monday.

“A decision to keep this increase in place could prevent an additional 200,000 children from being pulled into poverty.”

He added: “There’s still time for the UK government to do the right thing and Keep the Lifeline.”

Senior Tories, including former ministers Sir Iain and Damian Green, launched a last-gasp bid to block the cut on Friday by tabling an amendment to the annual uprating of pensions.

11:30 , Conrad Duncan

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, has more details below on the attempt to block the planned £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit led by senior Tory MPs:

© Provided by The Independent

Senior Tories make last-gasp bid to block £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit

Four ex-PMs snub Boris Johnson’s Chequers dinner

11:38 , Conrad Duncan

Four former prime ministers have turned down invitations to a centenary dinner at Chequers, leaving Boris Johnson only able to host Theresa May at his country retreat.

Mr Johnson had wanted a rare gathering of all the surviving occupants of No 10 Downing Street to mark 100 years since a UK leader first enjoyed staying at the lavish Buckinghamshire country home.

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Four ex-PMs snub Boris Johnson’s Chequers dinner with only Theresa May agreeing to go

Why is fuel-linked CO2 ‘crisis’ set to impact meat, beer, and fizzy drinks?

12:04 , Conrad Duncan

Meat, beer, and fizzy drinks could be in short supply as a result of record prices for natural gas which could impact the food supply chain.

High wholesale gas prices have been blamed in part on a lower flow of gas to the UK from Norway and Russia, along with maintenance issues at some gas sites and higher demand around the world.

Our reporter, Lamiat Sabin, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Why is fuel-linked CO2 ‘crisis’ set to impact meat, beer, and fizzy drinks?

ICYMI: Australian government ‘regrets’ France’s decision to recall ambassador

12:32 , Conrad Duncan

The Australian government has expressed “regret” over France’s decision to recall its ambassador to the country in connection to a row over a cancelled submarine contract.

The French government is angry because Australia cancelled a major defence contract after it agreed to work with the UK and US to build nuclear-powered submarines as part of the new AUKUS strategic alliance.

“We note with regret France’s decision to recall its Ambassador to Australia for consultations following the decision on the Attack Class project,” a spokesperson for foreign minister Marise Payne said.

“Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests.

“Australia values its relationship with France, which is an important partner and a vital contributor to stability, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. This will not change.”

They added: “We look forward to engaging with France again on our many issues of shared interest, based on shared values.”

The AUKUS defence pact between the UK, US and Australia has been widely seen as an attempt to counter the growing military assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Exclusive: Government accused of lowering cap on Afghan refugees by 10 per cent

12:58 , Conrad Duncan

Boris Johnson’s government has been accused of quietly slashing by 10 per cent the number of Afghan refugees to be admitted to the UK under a scheme to protect those fleeing the Taliban.

The Liberal Democrats said on Saturday that the “already derisory” offer to take in 5,000 people this year under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme had been reduced to 4,500 due to a technicality in the Home Office policy.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Government accused of lowering cap on Afghan refugees by 10 per cent

Why did France spare UK ambassador in AUKUS row?

13:21 , Conrad Duncan

Despite the UK’s role in the new AUKUS alliance, France notably chose not to recall its British ambassador on Friday when it told its envoys for the US and Australia to return home in a major diplomatic rebuke.

The reason for that may be due to the French government not viewing the UK as an active party in the defence contract that sparked the row.

According to a French diplomatic source for Reuters, the UK acted in an “opportunistic” manner in the deal struck between the US and Australia which ended a $40bn submarine contract deal between Canberra and Paris

“The UK accompanied this operation opportunistically,” the French diplomatic source said.

“We do not need to consult in Paris with our ambassador to know what to think and what conclusions to draw from it.”

13:43 , Conrad Duncan

ICYMI: Health minister Lord Bethell, who was at the centre of a series of Covid-related controversies, has confirmed that he has been sacked in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle this week.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Health minister at centre of cronyism allegations sacked in reshuffle

Ministers must recognise ‘cost of living crisis’ as gas prices rise, Miliband says

14:04 , Conrad Duncan

The government must recognise the “severity of the cost of living crisis” facing families following a sudden rise in wholesale gas prices, former Labour leader Ed Miliband has said.

The shadow business secretary said on Saturday that ministers needed to do more to put in place “more robust, resilient and diverse energy infrastructure” across the UK.

“It is a fundamental failure of long-term government planning over the last decade that we are so exposed and vulnerable as a country and it is businesses and consumers that are paying the price,” Mr Miliband wrote on Twitter.

“If we had been investing at sufficient scale in diverse, secure, zero carbon energy supplies and making energy efficiency a much bigger priority, we would not be in such a precarious position.”

He added: “Ministers must recognise the severity of the cost of living crisis now facing families and cancel the cut to Universal Credit.

“They must also ensure security of supply and take the long term action to put in place a much more robust, resilient and diverse energy infrastructure.”

1/ It is a fundamental failure of long-term government planning over the last decade that we are so exposed and vulnerable as a country and it is businesses and consumers that are paying the price.https://t.co/lFUWq93H1E

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) September 18, 2021

Southern Tory voters do not believe Johnson is ‘decent man’, Lib Dem leader claims

14:21 , Conrad Duncan

Voters in the Tory Party’s southern seats could turn on Boris Johnson because they do not believe he’s a “decent man”, the leader of the Liberal Democrats has claimed.

Sir Ed Davey told the Daily Mirror that he believed such voters were up for grabs in the next general election as the Conservatives focus their attention on retaining the “Red Wall” seats in Labour’s former northern heartlands.

“He has been proven to not tell the truth time and time again, I think he plays to people’s prejudices,” Sir Ed said.

“There’s something that a prime minister should have – even if you disagree with them, they should be able to command respect, that they tell the truth, they work hard and they do the very best they can.

“He doesn’t recognise the truth, he’s completely incompetent and I don’t think he works hard.”

He added: “This is what Conservative voters are telling us – they don’t think he’s decent.”

Wholesale gas prices surge by 250 per cent since January, industry body says

14:40 , Conrad Duncan

Wholesale gas prices have surged by 250 per cent since January, with a 70 per cent rise since August alone, the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry body has said.

OGUK, which represents the industry, said that the crisis had coincided with discussions on whether to open new gas fields in the North Sea, with the body predicting that UK North Sea output would roughly halve by 2027 unless new fields are opened.

“This price surge shows how we continue to need UK gas,” OGUK energy policy manager Will Webster said.

“Letting production fall faster than we can reduce demand risks leaving us increasingly dependent on other countries, and at the mercy of global events over which we have no control.

“While the UK continues to use oil and gas, we should make the most of the resources in our control while working for a low-carbon future.”

Opinion: ‘Starmer may have John Smith’s style – but he faces a stronger opposition’

15:01 , Conrad Duncan

Sir Keir Starmer shares some characteristics with a former leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, but he faces an even tougher challenge to win the next general election, according to our commentator John Rentoul.

Ahead of Labour’s annual conference, John writes:

“Keir Starmer doesn’t like being compared to previous Labour leaders, but the Smith one is more apt than most. Like Smith, Starmer trades on his competence as a lawyer to present a reassuring face to the voters. Like Smith, Starmer places himself at the centre of the party, emphasising unity above all, while offering baubles to both left and right to keep them happy.”

You can find his full piece below:

© Provided by The Independent

Starmer may have John Smith’s style – but he faces stronger opposition | John Rentoul

Closure of Covid taskforce leads to ‘brain drain’ ahead of feared winter surge

15:18 , Conrad Duncan

The government’s Covid taskforce, which plays a key role in decisions on lockdowns, PPE and emergency planning, is facing a “brain drain” as the country prepares for a potentially challenging winter, The Independent can reveal.

As the department is to be disbanded in the spring, members of the taskforce are already reportedly heading for the exit.

Our reporter, Anna Isaac, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Closure of Covid taskforce leads to ‘brain drain’ ahead of winter

Women to be ‘hit hardest’ by Universal Credit cut, figures show

15:43 , Conrad Duncan

Planned cuts to Universal Credit (UC) will hit women hardest and lead to billions of pounds being lost from their annual incomes in total, a charity has warned.

Some 5.9 million people in the UK are currently receiving UC payments – with women making up 54 per cent of those claiming the benefit as of August 2021.

Our women’s correspondent, Maya Oppenheim, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Women to be ‘hit hardest’ by Universal Credit cut

ICYMI: Michael Gove’s delay to planning reforms dismays campaigners

15:59 , Conrad Duncan

Michael Gove’s decision to review controversial planning reforms has been greeted with dismay by campaigners for affordable housing, who warn the move will lead to more young people living in overpriced rented homes.

Within hours of arriving at his new department, Mr Gove ordered a pause on legislation which had been due to be published next week – billed as the biggest shake-up of the planning system for 70 years.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

© Provided by The Independent

Gove planning reform pause ‘will mean more young people in overpriced rented homes’

France to work with India to promote multilateral order

16:11 , Emily Goddard

France’s foreign affairs minister has agreed with his Indian counterpart to work on a programme to promote “a truly multilateral international order,” the French foreign ministry has said.

Jean-Yves Le Drian and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also agreed during a call to deepen their strategic partnership, “based on a relationship of political trust between two great sovereign nations of the Indo-Pacific”.

Ex-PMs snub Johnson’s Chequers dinner with only May agreeing to go

17:11 , Emily Goddard

Four former prime ministers, including Tony Blair and David Cameron, have turned down invitations to a centenary dinner at Chequers – leaving Boris Johnson to host only Theresa May at his country retreat.

The prime minister had hoped for a rare gathering of all the surviving occupants of No 10, to mark 100 years since a UK leader first enjoyed staying at the lavish Buckinghamshire country home.

But Blair, Cameron, Gordon Brown and John Major have turned down the offer of the reunion.

It means May will be the only ex-prime minister at the celebration, making for an uncomfortable get-together for Johnson with his predecessor, although Sir John’s wife Norma will be among other guests.

Rob Merrick, our deputy political editor, has the full story:

© Provided by The Independent

Four ex-PMs snub Boris Johnson’s Chequers dinner with only Theresa May agreeing to go

Australia made ‘huge’ mistake’ cancelling submarine deal, says French ambassador

17:25 , Emily Goddard

Australia has made a “huge” diplomatic error, the French ambassador said after Canberra ditched a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with France.

Jean-Pierre Thebault was recalled to Paris along with the French ambassador to the US after Australia opted for a new deal with America and Britain, cancelling the deal signed in 2016 for France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines.

Liam James has more on this:

© Provided by The Independent

Australia made ‘huge’ mistake’ cancelling submarine deal, says French ambassador

Business secretary reassured that security of energy supply was not issue

17:51 , Emily Goddard

Kwasi Kwarteng has said there is no “cause for immediate concern” over gas supply in the UK following meetings with industry leaders today.

The business secretary spoke to chief executives from energy suppliers and operators to discuss the impact of surging prices.

“Today, I’ve held a series of individual meetings with senior executives from the energy industry to discuss the impact of high global gas prices,” he tweeted.

“I was reassured that security of supply was not a cause for immediate concern within the industry.”

Today, I’ve held a series of individual meetings with senior executives from the energy industry to discuss the impact of high global gas prices.

I was reassured that security of supply was not a cause for immediate concern within the industry. (1/7)

— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) September 18, 2021

Kwarteng said that protecting customers from huge price rises was “an absolute priority”.

“The energy price cap exists to protect millions of customers. Initiatives such as the warm home discount, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments will help further,” he said.

The business secretary also said he was confident energy security could be maintained while increasing the usage of renewables.

“Our largest single source of gas is from domestic production, and the vast majority of imports come from reliable suppliers such as Norway. We are not dependent on Russian oil and gas,” he said.

“However, our exposure to volatile global gas prices underscores the importance of our plan to build a strong, home-grown renewable energy sector to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Renewable energy has quadrupled since 2010, but there is more to do.”

No turkeys for Christmas? CO2 shortage could ‘cancel’ dinners

18:18 , Emily Goddard

Christmas dinners could be off the table due to the shortage of carbon dioxide, the owner of the UK’s biggest poultry supplier has said.

A surge in gas prices has meant two large fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire, which produce CO2 as a by-product, have shut, cutting supply to the food industry.

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, says this, combined with a shortage of workers, will affect the supply of turkeys for Christmas.

CO2 is essential to the humane slaughter of livestock, extends the shelf-life of products and is vital to cooling systems for refrigeration purposes, industry leaders have said.

Government ‘confident’ winter gas supply won’t be affected by global demand surge

18:20 , Emily Goddard

Our reporter Peter Stubley has the latest on the gas supply situation:

© Provided by The Independent

Government ‘confident’ winter gas supply won’t be affected by global demand surge

18:58 , Emily Goddard

That wraps up our live politics coverage for today. Thank you for following.

EG

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Manchester United need to make three changes at Spurs as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fights for his job

It feels quite strange to be looking ahead to Manchester United’s game against Tottenham on Saturday. There’s been so much talk about the managerial situation that it’s going to be ... Read more »

Club figure makes admission over Hull City's transfer plans

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Hull City v Peterborough United Hull City’s head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough has admitted to Hull Live that the club are already ... Read more »

Man Utd tipped for seventh-place finish if they do not sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United will finish seventh in the Premier League if they don’t sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to former England striker Darren Bent. The Red Devils have picked up just ... Read more »

Thousands of Hearts fans travel to St Johnstone as club explain who will make Liam Boyce fitness decision

A huge travelling support is heading to Perth where the Edinburgh club’s ten-game unbeaten Premiership run goes on the line against St Johnstone. Boyce is doubtful with a calf injury ... Read more »

Cricket-Australia's Warner dismisses form worries as 'quite funny'

(Reuters) – Australia opener David Warner laughed off concerns about his form on his 35th birthday on Wednesday but said he had reverted to practising on synthetic wickets and polished ... Read more »

NBA roundup: Lakers, without LeBron, edge Spurs in OT

Anthony Davis racked up 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 33 points and 10 rebounds, and the pair hit the final two baskets of the game to ... Read more »

Free State aims for an even higher pass rate this year

© Provided by SowetanLive The Free State department of education, which was last year named as the highest performing across the country, is aiming to raise the bar even higher ... Read more »

To the hearts of voters through toilets — Malema addresses supporters in Durban

© Provided by Times Live This was evident on Tuesday when EFF leaders told the community of Inanda, west of Durban, that the party will prioritise ablution facilities should they ... Read more »

Gewinne 5x2 Tickets für Red Bull Symphonic mit Loredana

Wir schicken dich zum Konzert von Red Bull Symphonic und Loredana am 25.11.2021 im KKL Luzern. © dieserbobby/Red Bull Content Pool undefined Red Bull Symphonic: Die österreichischen Drum ‘n’ Bass ... Read more »

Nach starkem Quartal: BASF hebt Jahresziele erneut an

Die Geschäfte des weltgrössten Chemiekonzerns BASF laufen dank einer guten Nachfrage und höheren Preisen weiterhin rund. Für das Gesamtjahr wird das Unternehmen optimistischer. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Der Chemiekonzern BASF ... Read more »

Akar umbi PKR P Pinang kecam DAP serang Norlela

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Norlela Ariffin diserang beberapa pemimpin DAP berhubung caranya menguruskan pandemik Covid-19 di Pulau Pinang. (Gambar Facebook) GEORGE TOWN: Seorang pemimpin akar umbi PKR mengecam ... Read more »

Siapa Tian Chua boleh cakap bagi pihak PH, soal Zuraida

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Zuraida Kamaruddin menyifatkan ‘suara’ Tian Chua umpama bercakap di kedai kopi kerana apa saja yang keluar daripada mulut pemimpin PKR itu tidak ada kesahihan. ... Read more »

The Toon 22: A.I. analysts name the players Newcastle's new owners must consider before January's transfer window... so they can ensure Premier League survival and THEN splash out on superstars

Newcastle United have around £200 million to spend and stay within FFP limitsRecruitment specialist AiAbacus have analysed the market for Sportsmail and  identified 22 potential signings the Magpies' could make from all over EuropeAnalysts believe Newcastle's recruitment will be a two-phase strategyThey're expected to recruit to fight relegation in January and build from summer  Read more »

Francesca Hung and Montana Cox pose by the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge to launch Melbourne Cup Carnival 2021

It’s the race that stops the nation.  And while the Melbourne Cup is famously run at the city’s Flemington racecourse – it was Sydney which got all the glory on ... Read more »

Iris, 82, who married Egyptian toyboy, 36, reveals sex positions they love and how he doesn't care about her dentures

PENSIONER Iris Jones raised eyebrows on This Morning when she talked about wedding her Egyptian toyboy – 46 years her junior. Iris, 82, married 36-year-old engineer Mohamed Ibriham, a year ... Read more »

LeBron James-less Lakers nip Spurs in OT, Anthony Davis hurts knee

SAN ANTONIO — Davis had 35 points and 17 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 33 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied without LeBron James to beat the ... Read more »

Youth climate activists stage overnight protest at Science Museum

Young climate activists who slept overnight in London’s Science Museum have said they will be approaching the first visitors of the day to tell them about the establishment’s sponsorship deals ... Read more »

'The needs of those who don't live in towns or cities are ignored': Readers on LTNs and the ULEZ

A road with wooden blockades and road signs – Geoff Pugh /Geoff Pugh Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are just one part of the Government's drive to cut air pollution caused ... Read more »

'This is a steal', 'Yasss' - Many MCFC fans desperate to sign 'perfect Rodri backup'

Manchester City fans want to sign Denis Zakaria after they were linked with a move for the central midfielder. © Provided by Transfer Tavern Denis Zakaria vs Borussia Dortmund The ... Read more »

'Plan to talk' - Journalist claims Wolves are eyeing up Brazil international in January

Wolves are interested in signing Atletico Mineiro left-back Guilherme Arana in the January transfer window, according to journalist Ekrem Konur. © Provided by Transfer Tavern 2021-10-03T003323Z_1282559841_UP1EHA301JLY0_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-BRAZIL-AMN-INL-REPORT The Lowdown: Wolves still ... Read more »

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson takes aim at Arsenal and Tottenham

© Provided by Football League World Johnson n Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has aimed a subtle dig at Arsenal and Tottenham – suggesting they’re not among England’s “really big guns” ... Read more »

Michael O'Neill provides injury update on experienced Stoke City man

© Provided by Football League World Joe Allen Stoke City could be without Joe Allen for the visit of Brentford in the League Cup tonight. The experienced midfielder has been ... Read more »

Illegal waste dumps near Paris wreak environmental havoc

Near a forest barely 20 kilometres from Paris, an impromptu landfill covering more than 16 hectares is just one of many illegal waste dumps polluting the outskirts of the French ... Read more »

Japan PM's nuclear push faces resistance ahead of election

1 / 2Japan PM’s nuclear push faces resistance ahead of electionFILE PHOTO: An anti-nuclear activist demonstrates in front of the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings office in Niigata By Sakura ... Read more »

Mamelodi's Boko Haram kingpin shot dead

© Provided by SowetanLive Given Mnguni, popularly known as Nkunzi in the township east of Pretoria, is considered as the leader of the gang. He died when a car they ... Read more »

'I never touched her': Sipho Pityana refutes sexual harassment claims

© Provided by SowetanLive On February 18 2019, leading businessman Sipho Pityana, then chair of mining giant AngloGold Ashanti, went to dinner with a female colleague at a restaurant in ... Read more »

Muay Thai expert puts guy in choke hold after he sexually harasses her in train

© Provided by CapeTalk Have you been wondering what’s been trending on the internet lately? Check out some of the top stories on What’s Gone Viral with Khabazela. RELATED: Daughter ... Read more »

Video: 'We'll all benefit from budget' says former Treasury minister

Rishi Sunak will deliver his budget to the House of Commons today, with much of the detail having already been announced. Read more »

Shirley Ballas says ‘concerned' doctor has booked her a hospital appointment after viewers spot ‘lumps' in her armpit

© Shirley Ballas Instagram Shirley Ballas – Shirley Ballas Instagram Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has shared a new health update with fans after viewers raised concerns over ... Read more »

Shah Rukh Khan's first brush with NCB officer Sameer Wankhede dates back to 2011, read here

© Provided by DNA On October 3, Sameer Wankhede arrested Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan and some others from a cruise party where apparently Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had conducted a raid ... Read more »

Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif build a perfect life together in Sooryavanshi song Mere Yaaraa

Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in a still from Sooryavanshi song Mere Yaaraa. The love song titled Mere Yaaraa from Sooryavanshi has been released. The film features Katrina Kaif and ... Read more »

Sardar Udham star Vicky Kaushal pens appreciation note. Says cherishing all the love pouring in

Vicky Kaushal is currently enjoying the success of his latest film, Sardar Udham. The actor has been receiving love and appreciation from his friends and fans for his power-packed performance ... Read more »

Ranbir Kapoor & Alia Bhatt to have a December wedding?

© Provided by Pinkvilla Wednesday couldn’t have kicked off on a better note for fans of Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor as a latest report claims that the lovebirds are ... Read more »

VIDEO: Mahesh Babu fans rushing to click pics with him in Spain speaks volumes of his stardom

© Provided by Pinkvilla Mahesh Babu is one the finest actors we have in Tollywood and undoubtedly the biggest superstar not only in India but even internationally. His fans have ... Read more »

Amid wedding rumours with Katrina Kaif, Vicky Kaushal shares a photo of him enjoying laddoo

© Provided by Pinkvilla Vicky Kaushal is constantly making headlines for both personal and professional reasons. Professionally, he is currently basking in the success of his recently released film Sardar ... Read more »

Global Carbon Footprint Management Market to 2026 by Component (Solution v/s Service), Deployment Mode (On-Premise v/s Cloud), & Type (Product Carbon Footprint v/s Corporate Carbon Footprint) - ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN, October 26, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Carbon Footprint Management Market, By Component (Solution v/s Service), By Deployment Mode (On-Premise v/s Cloud), By Type (Product Carbon Footprint v/s Corporate Carbon Footprint), ... Read more »

Indict Bolsonaro for crimes against humanity over Covid response, say Brazilian senators

Jair Bolsonaro‘s handling of the pandemic has triggered widespread protests – Horacio Villalobos/Corbis News A Brazilian Senate investigative committee approved a report on Tuesday that calls for President Jair Bolsonaro ... Read more »

IRB Infra hits 10% lower circuit as pref issue price set at 28% discount

New Delhi: Shares of IRB Infrastructure Developers hit the lower circuit on Wednesday after the company’s board approved the fundraising plans. The board approved raising up to Rs 5,347 crore ... Read more »

Step away from the phone! Hilarious texts from parents reveal auto-correct fails and awkward typos that left their children cringing

People from the US have shared the hilarious texts their parents have sent them One mother ruthlessly sent one pretending to be her child's imaginary boyfriend Another learned the hard way never to trust her phone's autocorrecting feature  Read more »

Couple held after four brothers abandoned, one killed

A mother accused of abandoning her four sons has been arrested in Texas along with her partner suspected of murdering one of the boys, a local sheriff said Tuesday. © ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic