Army can deliver fuel to petrol stations for months if needed - Defence Sec

6 October 2021, 06:21 | Updated: 6 October 2021, 06:25

Ben Wallace told delegates at the Tory party conference that the army could "sustain" fuel deliveries for months if necessary
Ben Wallace told delegates at the Tory party conference that the army could "sustain" fuel deliveries for months if necessary. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Daisy Stephens

The army will be able to keep delivering fuel to forecourts for months if needed, the Defence Secretary has said.

Ben Wallace said the army is prepare to "sustain" fuel deliveries for "weeks or months" if needed, but he also said he thought an "equilibrium" between fuel supply and demand would soon be reached.

"I think when it comes to HGV drivers with tankers and delivering fuel, getting people in a better equilibrium, I think that is going to be okay," said Mr Wallace at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event on Tuesday.

"Of course I have some more HGV tanker drivers and I also need them to do defence functions.

"But we can sustain it for a good few weeks or months if we have to."

Read more: Boris Johnson: Government has 'guts' to tackle major issues and reshape UK economy

Read more: Backlash over Dominic Raab's pledge to overhaul 'nonsense' Human Rights Act

Mr Wallace also said defence staff were helping to train new drivers, saying that more than 50,000 people had now applied for HGV training through the DVLA.

"As much as I am a great fan of the media obviously if you show the panic in a forecourt in London that trickles through to Preston," he added.

Wales Sec. refutes idea that HGV shortages are due to Brexit

Earlier on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said he is "not worried" about rising prices and the jobs gap, which have both played a role in petrol pumps running dry, mass pig culls and a threat of shortages this Christmas.

Mr Johnson has insisted Christmas would be better than last year's coronavirus-blighted December, despite warnings about supply chain problems.

Read more: Sajid Javid: Health and social care 'begins at home' not with government

Read more: ‘Irresponsible crusties’: Boris Johnson lays into eco protesters bringing misery to roads

However he has repeatedly refused to rule out shortages in the wider economy in the run-up to the festive season.

The Department for Transport has said that 27 emergency visas for fuel tanker drivers have been issued, as well as 100 for food hauliers, out of a total of 300 available.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Weather maps are turning red as a wave of heat makes a beeline for the UK, with temperatures set to soar across the country.

UK weather maps heat up as exact date 'North African plume' will see temperatures to hit 29C revealed

Conservatives have accused Keir Starmer of creating a £4.5billion tax black hole, casting doubt over their net zero spending plans.

Labour's net zero black hole? Tories accuse Starmer of £4.5bn budget shortfall as tax hikes loom

England beat Serbia 1-0 in tense first round Euro 2024 clash

England beat Serbia 1-0 after early goal from Jude Bellingham in tense first round Euro 2024 clash

England vs Serbia staring XI confirmed ahead of Three Lions' Euro 2024 clash

England vs Serbia staring XI confirmed as Gareth Southgate prepares for Three Lions' opening Euro 2024 clash

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in shocking hit-and-run

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in 'appalling' hit-and-run

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting

Wes Streeting urges doctors not to strike amid claims manifesto is not the ‘sum total’ of Labour's NHS spending

Clashes erupt between football fans in Gelsenkirchen ahead of England and Serbia's first Euro 2024 match

Clashes erupt between football fans in Gelsenkirchen as England beat Serbia 1-0 in opening Euro 2024 game

Southwark council raised more than £2.6 million by issuing 43,300 fines to motorists

Labour council urged to refund motorists after ‘unfairly’ fining thousands of drivers £2.6million

Police rammed the cow

Officer who rammed cow with police squad car removed from frontline duties

England fans in Gelsenkirchen

Thousands of England fans descend on Gelsenkirchen ahead of Three Lions' first Euro 2024 match against Serbia

Queues at Birmingham airport

Travel chaos strikes major UK airport as passengers stuck in lengthy queues

Police rammed the cow

Owner of cow rammed by police gives update on its condition and says officers should be fired for 'disgusting' incident

Officers shot a man threatening football fans in Hamburg

Man shot by police after brandishing 'axe and molotov cocktail' close to Euro 2024 fan zone

Labour's Wes Streeting has called for a debate with Nigel Farage

Labour's Wes Streeting calls for debate with Nigel Farage to take on 'toxic rhetoric' in 'battle of ideas'

Prince William's children have sent him a Father's Day message

'We love you papa': George, Charlotte and Louis send Prince William Father's Day message in first social media post

Labour and the Conservatives would leave the NHS 'worse off than under austerity', the Nuffield Trust has warned

Labour and Tories would leave NHS 'worse off' than under austerity, health think tank warns