‘Does he tell tall tales?’ Kay Burley confronts Hinds on Kwarteng’s Treasury claims.
Damian Hinds has defended KWASI KWARTENG after charges that he “lied on TV” about meetings with the Treasury.
Mr Kwarteng lied when he suggested there were talks between government ministries about helping energy companies. Home Office Minister Damian Hinds has rejected this. On Sunday, the Business Secretary warned that struggling manufacturers and energy companies will not receive much additional help, but that he is working closely with Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the business. Despite enterprises appealing for support to prevent more breakdowns as wholesale gas prices spiral, a senior Treasury official told the PA news agency that no such negotiations have taken place.
Mr Hinds was asked by Sky News if he had lied after the Treasury denied holding negotiations with his department, and he said, “Of course not.”
He continued, ” “The accounts of these unknown sources emerge from time to time.
“The fact is that government departments and ministers constantly communicate with one another, and with an issue like this, with rising global prices and businesses grappling and dealing with them to ensure they break even and make a profit, the Business Secretary – and, of course, the Energy Secretary – will be completely focused on it.
“This is something that the Treasury, as the nation’s economic management department, is also highly focused on.”
Mr Kwarteng is certain that the lights will stay on in the UK this winter, despite warnings from businesses that they may have to cut back on working hours to stay afloat, and the Energy UK industry association that more suppliers may go bankrupt.
The minister stated that the energy price cap will remain in place for consumers throughout the winter, but that he will not “bail out failed energy companies.”
On Sunday, when asked if he had addressed the Treasury about subsidies, he said to Sky’s Trevor Phillips: “No, I haven’t done so.
“We already have subsidies in place, and it’s evident that many of them are effective.”
Mr Kwarteng said he couldn’t say whether a price cap for firms would be implemented, but that there had been discussions about “what the nature of that help may be.”
“What I’m absolutely clear about is that we need to assist them in getting through.” “..