Minister denies Business Secretary lied about extra support for firms amid energy crisis

11 October 2021, 08:36

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A government minister has rejected claims made by the Treasury that the Business Secretary has "made things up".

It comes after Kwasi Kwarteng claimed at the weekend that he was in talks with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the impact of rising energy prices on various industries - but this was denied by the Treasury.

"How concerned should my listeners be that we have an apparent fantasist as the Business Secretary," Nick Ferrari asked putting Security Minister Damian Hinds on the spot.

Mr Hinds told Nick that he didn't think the Business Secretary was making things up.

He told LBC government ministers and departments were always in constant contact with one another.

The Security Minister branded the claims "one of those 'unnamed sources' stories that comes out from time to time.

The row comes after Mr Kwarteng claimed he was "speaking constantly" with industry on their energy needs and pricing and was "engaging" with the Treasury on the issue.

But, a Treasury source told Sky News they are "not involved in any talks" and added that it was not the first time Mr Kwarteng "has made things up in interviews".

Dermot Nolan, the former chief executive of Ofgem, has assured people not to worry about their energy provider going out of business.

Asked if more energy providers will go out of business, on Sunday he told LBC: "I'm not sure if more will or won't, I think it's more likely that more will, certainly.

"But I don't think that's a problem. It's not great, but I would assure anybody who's worried about whether their firm will go out of business or not.

"I would assure them you stay where you are, you will be looked after, you will be protected, you will actually be switched to another supplier and your credit balance will be preserved.

"So though it's never great to hear about the firm you're with going out of business, you will be switched to someone else, you will be taken care of, so I would urge people not to worry about that."

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