‘But what about Christmas?!’ says the narrator. Fiona Bruce, host of BBC Question Time, snarls at Shapps on the HGV shortage.
As the Transport Secretary faced pressure over fears of empty supermarket shelves at Christmas, BBC Question Time host Fiona Bruce snarled at him.
Due to the persistent HGV driver scarcity, there are rising concerns about bare shop shelves at Christmas. Fiona Bruce, the host of BBC Question Time, interrogated Grant Shapps on the government’s efforts to safeguard Christmas supply. This comes as Iceland Foods’ managing director, Richard Walker, expressed anxiety about the holiday season.
“I’m anxious about Christmas,” he said to Mr Shapps.
“Do you believe that adding HGV drivers to the list of skilled workers will have no effect on Christmas?”
“What I am saying is that I have already taken a variety of measures,” Mr Shapps responded.
“If you’ve been thinking about this for two and a half years, why have you only just done it?” Fiona Bruce retorted.
“You keep talking, and Richard keeps saying it’s not going to improve Christmas,” the BBC host added.
“And here we are, all thinking about Christmas!”
“Let me start by saying that we have increased the number of tests available by 50% compared to pre-coronavirus,” Mr Shapps said.
“We’ll have another 50,000 tests accessible before Christmas,” says the spokesperson.
“This will put an end to the problems in the run-up to Christmas.”
“The sooner the better,” Mr Walker remarked.
This comes as some gas stations have been forced to close this week due to a significant lack of HGV drivers.
Due to a shortage of delivery drivers, a few BP stations and a small number of Esso-owned Tesco Alliance stations were closed on Thursday.
Around 100,000 HGV drivers are needed in the UK, according to estimates.
The government has being pressed to include HGV drivers on the short-term visa list in order to recruit EU workers.
The government, on the other hand, stated that firms should make “long-term investments in the UK domestic workforce rather than relying on foreign labor.”
Mr Shapps detailed proposals to increase the number of HGV driving tests by 50,000 each year by shortening the application procedure and the actual testing.
He also mentioned that other European countries, such as Germany and Poland, are facing “similar issues.”