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Liz Truss promises 'immediate action' on energy bills in first PMQs with announcement due tomorrow
7 September 2022, 09:58 | Updated: 7 September 2022, 12:27
Liz Truss has promised to take "immediate action" on tackling energy bills and confirmed an announcement will take place tomorrow, in her first PMQs as Prime Minister.
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When asked by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer why she was opposed to taxing oil and gas companies despite the fact they are set to make billions in profits, Ms Truss said she understood people were struggling with high costs and said she "will be making an announcement to this house on that tomorrow".
"I understand that people across our country are struggling with the cost of living and they're struggling with their energy bills, and that is why I, as Prime Minister, will take immediate action to help people with the cost of their energy bills," she said.
"I will be making an announcement to this house on that tomorrow, and giving people certainty to make sure that they are able to get through this winter and be able to have the energy supplies and be able to afford it."
But she also said it couldn't just be "a sticking plaster" and there had to also be a long-term solution.
"What we need to do is increase our energy supplies long term," she said.
"That is why we will open up more supply in the North Sea... that is why we will build more nuclear power stations... that is why we will get on with delivering the supply as well as helping people through the winter."
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Liz Truss earlier gathered her new team for the first Cabinet meeting of her premiership.
New Cabinet members were seen making their way into No10 to tackle the first thing on their to-do list - soaring energy bills.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Home Secretary Suella Braverman were among those who greeted reporters as they entered Downing Street.
But Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch arrived late, entering No10 around 20 minutes after the meeting started.
New Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena described the first Cabinet meeting as "very positive" when journalists asked him how it went.
The new Prime Minister will face MPs at PMQs at midday.
Ms Truss promised to take action to tackle gas prices this week in her first speech as PM outside Downing Street on Tuesday.
She promised the UK would 'ride out the storm' of the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine.
"I will deal hands-on with the energy crisis caused by Putin's war," she said.
"I will take action this week to deal with energy bills and to secure our future energy supply."
She went on: "I'm confident that together we can ride out the storm, we can rebuild our economy and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be."
Also high on her list of priorities was tackling the NHS backlog, putting the health service "on a firm footing", and reforming the tax system to "grow the economy" and "reward hard work".
Ms Truss began her reshuffle shortly after the speech, culling most of Mr Sunak's supporters and giving top jobs to her closest allies.
Amongst her appointments were:
- Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor
- Thérèse Coffey as Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister
- Suella Braverman as Home Secretary
- Jacob Rees-Mogg as Business Secretary
- James Cleverly as Foreign Secretary
- Ben Wallace remaining as Defence Secretary
- Simon Clarke as Levelling Up Secretary
- Nadhim Zahawi as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, equalities minister and intergovernmental relations minister
- Wendy Morton as Chief Whip
- Brandon Lewis as Justice Secretary
- Penny Mordaunt as Leader of the House of Commons
- Lord True as Leader of the House of Lords
Ms Truss is expected to continue making appointments throughout Wednesday.
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Among those sacked by Ms Truss were Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps and Johnny Mercer.
Mr Raab and Mr Shapps thanked their team and Mr Raab wished Ms Truss luck.
Read More: Liz Truss's first speech as PM: read in full
But others took it less well, with sacked Veterans Affairs Minister Mr Mercer saying he was disappointed and accusing the new PM of 'rewarding her supporters' at the expense of experienced ministers.
His wife went further, taking to Twitter to brand Ms Truss an "imbecile" and claiming Ms Truss told Mr Mercer she "can't answer" when asked why she was sacking him to reward her loyalists when she had "promised a meritocracy".