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No 10 assures energy bills freeze will go ahead despite Queen’s mourning period

·2-min read
Prime Minister Liz Truss (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Liz Truss (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Downing Street has assured it does not believe the mourning period for the Queen’s death will have any impact on Liz Truss’s new policy to prevent average energy bills soaring past £2,500.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said on Friday that the two-year energy price guarantee for Britain will be ready for households from October 1, as scheduled.

Officials are working in the background to draw up a strategy to support businesses through the gas crisis for six months and come up with a plan for Northern Ireland, as part of the multibillion-pound package.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will also need to find a date to reveal his emergency financial package, as politics as normal pauses for around 10 days, while the House of Commons will be suspended.

Ms Truss announced the strategy on Thursday in the hours before the Queen’s death.

Paid for with tens of billions of pounds of borrowing, it guarantees that for two years bills for the average home will not increase past £2,500, saving typical households around £1,000.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The public should be reassured that the energy price guarantee will be in place for households from October 1, as planned.

“We’re implementing that guarantee initially through private contracts with suppliers rather than through legislation so this mourning period doesn’t impact that introduction.

“We’re working urgently now on the wider aspects of the policy to ensure it can be delivered. As it stands we do not believe the mourning period would impact on delivery of the policy.”

Ms Truss also announced an immediate lifting of the fracking ban in England, despite the Tory manifesto pledging not to do so unless it was scientifically proven to be safe amid concerns over earthquakes.

The Government was due to publish a British Geological Survey review into extracting shale gas on Thursday, which officials said showed more drilling is required to establish data.

But Downing Street said this will now not be published until after the mourning period, with the official spokesman saying it will come “as soon as that period has concluded”.