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Boris Johnson Refuses To Rule Out Food And Fuel Crisis Lasting Until Christmas

by : Joe Harker on :
Boris Johnson Refuses To Rule Out Food And Fuel Crisis Lasting Until ChristmasAlamy/BBC

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to rule out whether shortages of food and fuel could last until Christmas.

A lack of HGV drivers has meant fuel isn’t being delivered to petrol stations and food isn’t making it onto supermarket shelves, leading some to panic buying and leaving others struggling to get what they need.

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That could potentially mean a winter of empty shelves at the supermarkets and long queues at petrol station forecourts during what is supposed to be the busiest time of the year for retailers.

Boris Johnson Prime Minister (PA Images)PA Images

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the prime minister repeatedly tried to avoid agreeing with chancellor Rishi Sunak’s assessment that supply chain shortages could last ‘for months’, but ultimately said ‘Rishi is right invariably in everything that he says’.

Sunak told MailOnline the shortages in the UK are ‘very real’, and while the government will do its best to ‘mitigate’ the situation, he can make no guarantees. ‘As you can imagine there’s an enormous amount of focus on this from the government because we know how important this is. My kids will be very upset with me if there isn’t a proper Christmas,’ he said.

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Responding to the chancellor’s comments, Johnson said: ‘Rishi is right invariably in everything that he says, but what you’re seeing is a… it depends how you interpret what he’s saying.’

Johnson blamed the food and fuel crisis on a lack of HGV drivers, though he insisted the shortage was ‘affecting the whole world’.

London, UK. 28th Sep, 2021. Ver small No Fuel signs - Fuel shortages escalate due to panic buying, as the Shell petrol station near Clapham South has run out. Signs are up and the pumps are off and/or taped up. The shortage is a result of a lack of tanker drivers due to the extended impact of Brexit on European migrant workers. Credit: Guy Bell/Alamy Live NewsAlamy

The prime minister also demanded haulage firms increased wages to attract more British workers into a career as a HGV driver, Mirror reports.

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The fuel situation is improving in Scotland, the north of England and parts of the Midlands, but is ‘getting worse’ in London and the south east, The Guardian reports.

Speaking on the fuel supply issues, Johnson said the government was ‘making sure we have the supplementary drivers if necessary’ and that the lack of petrol at the pumps was ‘a problem that actually now is largely driven by demand’.

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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Food, Now, Petrol, Rishi Sunak

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Daily Mirror and 2 others