PM won't rule out Christmas shortages saying it's up to industries to solve supply crisis

3 October 2021, 13:05 | Updated: 3 October 2021, 23:26

The PM refused to rule out that supply chain disruption could continue until Christmas.
The PM refused to rule out that supply chain disruption could continue until Christmas. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Boris Johnson has said "Christmas will be considerably better" than last year but it is up to industries to fix the supply chain crisis.

Speaking at a youth club in East Manchester, the PM said he would keep "all options on the table" to solve the supply chain crisis.

"We will take sensible measures and we will use controlled immigration as one of the things like any sensible government would."

But he refused to rule out supply chain disruption lasting until Christmas: "Where there are issues that we can help with, we will do everything we can."

He emphasised the role of industries to help solve the crisis and rejected "uncontrolled immigration" which he claimed would see a return to a "low skilled, low wage economy".

"We'll take each step as it comes, we're there to support industries that are having difficulties.

"But it is fundamentally up to them to work out the way ahead.

"In the end, those businesses, those industries, are the best solvers of their own supply chain issues - Government can't step in and fix every bit of the supply chain."

Read more: Fuel shortages remain a 'major problem' in London and South-East, Tory chair tells LBC

His comments come after the chair of the Conservative Party Oliver Dowden told LBC this morning there are still "significant challenges" with fuel supply in London and the South-East.

Yesterday, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association told LBC the crisis is "absolutely horrendous" in the South-East, but stabilising elsewhere.

Meanwhile Nick Allen, CEO of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), told Swarbrick on Sunday that turkey farmers "will be short of supply" this Christmas due to a lack of labour from the EU.

Read more: 'Horrendous' petrol crisis worsens in London and South East as price of fuel soars

Read more: Boris sends in the army to transport fuel to petrol stations amid HGV driver shortage

"Farmers haven't known whether they're going to be able to get a labour supply or not, they have not actually put the turkeys into the system in the first place.

"The government only made this announcement last week. A lot of turkeys should have been on the farm a long time ago, you can't suddenly just conjure them up."

The PM acknowledged this morning that he was made aware of the shortage of HGV drivers, estimated to be around 90,000, well before June.