KWASI KWARTENG has not committed to additional help for businesses struggling amid soaring gas prices despite companies being forced to safeguard jobs.
Liberty Steel is the latest business to secure a £50m cash infection to save 660 jobs at its plant in Rotherham after the business secretary said he is “convinced” the UK will not suffer gas shortages in the coming months.
Mr Kwarteng also said he has been in talks with Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s team. But a treasury source later accused Mr Kwarteng of making things up.
They claimed to Sky News: “This is not the first time the BEIS secretary has made things up in interviews. To be crystal clear, the Treasury are not involved in any talks.”
Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme Mr Kwarteng said the situation is “critical” and confirmed he was “looking to find a solution.”
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Home Office Minister Damian Hinds has denied that Kwasi Kwarteng lied when he said there were discussions between Government departments about help for energy firms.
Mr Hind was asked if the Business Secretary had lied after the Treasury denied having been in talks with his department, and replied: “Of course not.”
He added: “These unnamed sources stories come out from time to time.”
Liberty’s owner, GFG Alliance confirmed the cash boost would allow the company to reopen its Rotherham plant which has been closed since spring.
Jeffrey Kabel, GFG’s chief transformation officer, said: “The injection of £50m of shareholder funds into Liberty Steel UK is an important step in our restructuring and transformation.
“It will help to create sustainable value, ensure that Liberty has the ability to raise and deploy capital quickly in the UK and enable our businesses to demonstrate their potential and agree long-term debt restructuring.”
The company first approached the government for help in April but the request was rejected by Kwasi Kwarteng.