Tory leadership contest is 'callous' and 'self-indulgent' amid cost of living crisis, says Utilita boss

23 August 2022, 10:48

The government has been criticised for continuing with the Tory leadership contest.
The government has been criticised for continuing with the Tory leadership contest. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Tory leadership contest is "callous" and "self-indulgent" amid the spiralling cost of living crisis, the head of Utilita has said.

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The issue has been at the heart of the head-to-head between rivals Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, with both clashing over their economic plans to deal with the crisis.

However, the Conservatives have faced criticism for the drawn-out process as energy bills crippling families across the UK.

Experts now expect that the energy price cap will be set at £6,552 in April, based on a spike in gas prices on Monday.

Utilita CEO Bill Bullen told LBC News: "I find it difficult to believe that this is a good use of government time right now given the urgency of this crisis that we’re continuing on with a leadership contest.

"It's time to draw an end to the process – I'm not a member of the Conservative party so, unfortunately, like 99% of the population, we don't have a choice in this.

"But it does seem a little bit self-indulgent if not a little bit callous, frankly, to be carrying on with this process when there is so much concern and so much worry about where energy prices are going."

Read more: Disabled people to get £150 cost of living payment from September amid 18% inflation warning

Read more: Downing Street insist households and businesses will not face blackouts this winter amid cost of living crisis

Mr Bullen also called on the Government to put a price cap freeze in place.

"It's time for the Government to stop chasing after this problem announcing more and more support packages and get ahead of it by announcing a freeze to the price cap," he said.

When asked what the energy supplier is doing to help, Mr Bullen said: "We are doing everything we can but one of the key things we can do for people right now is to use our expertise and knowledge to advise them on how to use energy more efficiently and to run the household more cheaply."

Utilita has joined forces with Iceland for Shop Smart, Cook Savvy - a scheme that will see both companies commit to a series of pledges that will have an impact on the cost of cooking food at home.

All households have been promised £400 of help, with more funding available for the vulnerable. But experts say it will not be enough thanks to the latest price cap forecasts.

Despite ongoing calls for action, the Government has said it will not announce further bill support until a new Prime Minister is in place at the beginning of September.

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