Politics

Fuel Crisis: Ministers To Hold Urgent Meeting As Pumps Run Dry

ADRIAN DENNIS via Getty Images

Motorists queue for petrol and diesel fuel at a Shell petrol station in Fleet

Ministers are set to meet on Monday afternoon to discuss the fuel crisis as pumps across the country run dry.

Downing Street confirmed the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay will lead the meeting.

It comes as ministers suspended competition laws competition laws to enable oil companies to target petrol stations running dry after days of panic buying.

Meanwhile a senior minister insisted the government has “no plans at the moment” to use the army to drive petrol tankers amid panic buying.

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “We are bringing Ministry of Defence trainers in to accelerate some of the HGV training to clear a backlog of people who want to carry out those tests, and there’s definitely a role there for the MoD.

“In terms of other things we’ve no plans at the moment to bring in the army to actually do the driving, but we always have a civil contingencies section within the army on standby – but we’re not jumping to that necessarily at the moment.”

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at trade association Logistics UK, told BBC Breakfast consumers must stop panic-buying to ease the fuel crisis while the government implements longer-term solutions to tackle HGV driver shortages.

She said: “We have been assured through the Petrol Retailers Association and we have been assured by some of the larger petrol companies in the country that there is enough fuel for everyone, but yet we have become very concerned and are buying and buying and have caused a very big problem.”

Union Unison called for the government to use emergency powers to “designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers”.

General secretary Christina McAnea said “The Government has to take control. It’s no good ministers wasting time on a pointless blame game or pretending there’s no problem.”

 




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