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Energy bills: Boris Johnson's 'zombie government' fails to offer new support

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
energy bills Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended an energy round table at No11 Downing Street with chancellor Nadhim Zahawi (left) and business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and bosses from some of the UK’s biggest energy companies. Photograph: Kyle Heller/No10 Downing Street
Energy bills: Prime minister Boris Johnson attended an energy round table at No11 Downing Street with chancellor Nadhim Zahawi (left) and business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and bosses from some of the UK’s biggest energy companies. Photograph: Kyle Heller/No10 Downing Street

Crisis talks with energy bosses ended with no new measures to help with soaring energy bills as Boris Johnson insists that it is up to his successor to “make significant fiscal decisions”.

Speaking after the meeting, the outgoing prime minister said he knew it would be a “difficult winter” for people living in the UK and that “we are doing everything we can to support them”.

Read more: Energy bills could hit £5,000 next year, experts warn

Johnson has been accused of going "missing" and running a "zombie government" as the country hurtles towards a recession.

While chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said ministers were continuing to monitor the “extraordinary profits” some companies were making, Johnson made clear any “significant fiscal decisions” would be for his successor.

“Following our meeting today, we will keep urging the electricity sector to continue working on ways we can ease the cost-of-living pressures and to invest further and faster in British energy security,” Johnson said in a statement.

Zahawi added: “In the spirit of national unity, they agreed to work with us to do more to help the people who most need it.”

The Treasury said that chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and the energy firms agreed to "work closely" over the coming weeks to ensure that the public, including vulnerable customers, are supported in the face of rising costs.

Read more: Energy bills: 6 million households already in debt before October rise

However, there was no announcement of any immediate new measures to help consumers.

Energy bosses were hauled in front of ministers on Thursday amid nightmare predictions that the average household bill might go up to £5,000 from April after a winter of soaring heating prices.

It is understood that attendees of the meeting include Chris O’Shea, the chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, Keith Anderson, the chief executive of Scottish Power, and Simone Rossi, the boss of EDF in the UK.

Neither of the UK’s supermajor oil and gas companies, BP and Shell, were among the chief executives in attendance.

Watch: Why are gas prices rising