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Fuel crisis – live: Supplies could return to normal ‘in coming days’ says industry as pump prices soar

·27 min read

The lorry driver shortage in the UK is a consequence of Brexit and low wages, according to the man set to replace Angela Merkel as German chancellor.

Olaf Scholz, leader of the SDP, said the free movement of labour was an EU benefit that the UK had chosen to leave behind.

“We worked very hard to convince the British not to leave the union. Now they decided different and I hope they will manage the problems coming from that,” he said.

Many petrol stations around the UK remain dry and unions have called on the government to use emergency powers to give key workers priority for fuel.

The British Medical Association warned that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”. The Royal College of Nursing and the Unison and GMB unions also called for priority.

Meanwhile, Edwin Atema, leader of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions has said that EU drivers will not be returning to help the UK “get out of the s***”.

He said the 10,000 short-term visas that the British government was considering would not be enough to tempt drivers.

Read More

Petrol crisis deepens as panic-buying leaves at least half of local stations out of supplies

Anger as Grant Shapps claims hauliers have ‘created’ the fuel shortage crisis

Fight breaks out on petrol station forecourt as panic-buying frustrations boil over

UK fuel shortages: How to cope with the crisis

How and when will UK’s fuel crisis end?

Key Points

  • Petrol price hits eight year high

  • Jerry can sales up seventeenfold over weekend

  • EU workers ‘won’t sort out UK’s self-imposed problems'

  • Police urge public not to call them about petrol station congestion

  • Fuel delivery drivers balloted over possible strike action

  • Interest in electric vehicles spikes during fuel crisis

  • Fuel levels to be back to ‘normal in coming days’ – industry

Army to be mobilised as a precaution to ease fuel delivery issues

21:03 , Alastair Jamieson

Ministers are expected to begin mobilising the army as a precaution to ease the petrol delivery crisis, according to government sources.

The move, which follows the temporary suspension of competition law to help oil firms co-ordinate supplies, is expected to be announced within the next hour.

Non-league football games postponed because of fuel fiasco

20:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Dozens of non-league fixtures have been postponed due to lack of fuel, as a result of HGV driver shortages and panic-buying.

Several fixtures scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Isthmian League and Southern League, both of which cover parts of southern England in the tier below the National League, have been called off.

The entire programme in the Southern Combination Football League has also been postponed.

Bognor Regis Town said they had wanted their fixture against Leatherhead to go ahead but the Tanners chose to postpone.

Bognor Regis general manager Simon Cook said on the club’s website: “It’s incredibly frustrating because it’s not the longest drive at around an hour and 20 minutes but once the league gave clubs the option to call off games then I suppose we could have predicted that some would do exactly that.

“The ironic thing is that we are still planning to travel to Leatherhead on Thursday for the young Rocks’ FA Youth Cup tie – and currently if we were to pull out of the game we would forfeit the game.”

Hundreds of cars broke down due to drivers pumping wrong fuel

20:20 , Lamiat Sabin

At least 250 people have had their cars break down over the weekend after putting the wrong fuel in amid the shortage at petrol stations, according to the AA.

The motoring association said it has had an increase in calls from drivers whose cars broke down after they put petrol in diesel cars or diesel in petrol-run cars.

The AA received about 250 of such calls over the weekend while they usually receive tens.

Lorry drivers from overseas not expected until late October

19:50 , Lamiat Sabin

HGV drivers from abroad are not expected to arrive in the UK until late next month, according to a report by the i newspaper.

The first of the 5,000 drivers to be offered temporary three-month work visas are not to arrive until at least the end of October, according to Home Office sources quoted in the report.

This means that the extra drivers are expected to be in force in time for Christmas deliveries, but not by Halloween.

A Home Office source told i : “Recruitment is beginning in early October, and we expect the first drivers will arrive at the end of the month.

“This is not just open to EU drivers. It’s a global scheme. So, we do think there will be much wider interest.”

Fuel shortage ‘poses no risk to ambulance services'

19:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Ambulance trusts across England have said there is currently no risk to their services with some having reserves of fuel that could last as long as several weeks.

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said it backed the idea of prioritising fuel for staff but said there was no wider problem that would affect 999 responses.

It comes after four unions – British Medical Association, Royal College of Nursing, Unison, and GMB – called on the government to allow health and care workers to have priority for fuel at petrol stations so that they can travel to and from work.

Health correspondent Shaun Lintern reports

Ambulance chiefs say they have enough fuel and urge public not to panic buy

Police urge public not to call them about petrol station congestion

19:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Police forces have appealed for motorists to stop calling them to complain about queues at petrol stations.

Essex Police said it has received more than 100 calls about traffic around petrol stations since Friday.

“We know it’s frustrating but unless there’s a collision or a crime has been committed, being stuck in traffic isn’t a reason to call us,” a spokesperson added.

“We’d also urge people not to abuse staff at petrol stations.”

Home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden has the details

Police tell public to stop calling about petrol station queues

Fuel delivery drivers balloted over possible strike action

18:46 , Lamiat Sabin

A number of drivers at a company that handles fuel deliveries for BP are considering strike action over pay.

The vote over pay currently affects about 10 workers at the firm Hoyer, Bloomberg reports.

The result will be out on Friday, a spokesman for the Unite the union has said.

Portsmouth newspaper The News reported that the Unite members work for Hoyer at the BP fuel terminal in Hamble, Hampshire.

Public services in Surrey consider declaring major incident

18:17 , Alastair Jamieson

Surrey County Council’s Conservative leader Tim Oliver said the option will be considered by the local resilience forum, which includes the local NHS and police, on Monday evening.

He said: “We have been experiencing the same problems as everyone else so we are deciding whether or not to declare a major incident which would give the forum powers to prioritise key workers.

“We have got access to fuel supplies which we can designate for priority workers so social workers can be given a card which enables them to access those supplies.

“We have also got our own electric vehicles so our role would be to coordinate that activity so those people who need to travel can.”

Some prison officers unable to get to work – union

18:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Prison officers are unable to get into work because of the shortage of fuel at petrol stations.

Mark Fairhurst, the national chairman of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), said he was receiving reports of workers being unable to turn up for shifts because they cannot get any fuel and called for the matter to be addressed “urgently”.

On Twitter, he said: “Getting reports of staff being unable to attend for duty because they have no fuel and unable to fill up anywhere.

“No contingencies in place and no desire from Government to address this. If we can’t get staff on duty we can’t unlock. This needs to be addressed urgently.”

The PO union represents prison guards and staff at correctional and secure psychiatric facilities.

Interest in electric vehicles spikes during fuel crisis

17:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Electric vehicle (EV) companies are seeing the number of enquiries soar by more than half amid the fuel panic-buying crisis.

Searches online increased by 56 per cent on Sunday 26 September 26 alone, data from car marketplace carwow shows.

Searches for EVs on the site increased by 28 per cent on Friday 24 September compared with the previous week, and 43 per cent on Saturday 25 September.

Sepi Arani, director of trade at carwow, said: “The fuel supply crisis and the scenes of panic at the pumps could prove to be the most influential switching event ever, with more people than ever considering switching to electric.

“The levels of demand for EVs through carwow this weekend have been completely unprecedented and are genuine proof that more people want to make the switch.

“After a weekend of queuing, frustration and hysteria, having the option to charge your vehicle from the comfort of your own home, or from a public charging point, seems like bliss for more and more people.”

Fuel levels to be back to ‘normal in coming days’ – industry

17:20 , Lamiat Sabin

The UK fuel industry has issued a joint statement saying that it expects fuel supply will be back to “normal” in coming days.

The statement is from companies including BP, Shell and Esso.

The statement issued by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “There is plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are working closely with the government to help ensure fuel is available to be delivered to stations across the country.

“As many cars are now holding more fuel than usual, we expect that demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, easing pressures on fuel station forecourts. We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually would.

“We remain enormously grateful to all forecourt staff and HGV drivers for working tirelessly to maintain supplies during this time.”

Some petrol stations should be reserved for key workers – Khan

17:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Sadiq Khan is calling for designated petrol stations for key workers and cab drivers.

The Mayor of London is lobbying the government to reserve fuel stations for essential workers, the BBC reports, amid the ongoing panic-buying of petrol and diesel.

He said: “In the fuel crisis of September 2000, the government brought in rules designating specific filling stations for essential workers, enabling the capital to keep moving.”

It comes after four unions – GMB, Unison, Royal College of Nursing, and the British Medical Association – said that the government should enable priority access to fuel for essential workers, especially those in health and care sectors.

Fuel crisis could force schools to return to remote learning

16:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Schools could be forced to close and move lessons online as petrol crisis disruption deepens, headteachers have warned.

Thomas Kingsley has the full report

Fuel crisis could force schools to return to remote learning

Bedfordshire NHS organisation held emergency meeting after staff stuck without fuel

16:21 , Liam James

At least one NHS organisation has suffered a staff shortage due to the fuel crisis, doctor advocacy group EveryDoctor said.

A hospital consultant in Bedfordshire told the group, which represents 1,700 doctors: “We had an emergency discussion this morning. Two consultants in our department are out and can’t get to work. Two others on reserve. All four petrol stations within four miles of our hospital are closed with no fuel.”

‘People think we’re making a lot of money — we’re not’: Petrol station manager speaks out

16:08 , Liam James

Yasser Ahmed, who runs a petrol station in West Drayton with his father, said his four-pump station had gone through 30,000 litres of fuel — the amount it would usually sell in a whole week — in just two days.

“That's completely not normal,” he said.

“Yesterday we didn't open up, we lost a whole day yesterday, today dad is in, only because we have a lot of regular customers from the local community who are going to work and want to grab their coffee first in the morning.

“That's the only reason we opened up. We're not selling anything inside, our shop sales have tanked.

“People are saying on social media that petrol station owners are doing really well and making a lot of money — we're not. We make our money from shop sales, and they're gone.”


Shell to take on customers from collapsed firm Green

15:50 , Liam James

Shell Energy will take on 255,000 former customers from Green, one of the latest in a raft of small energy supplier to fail over the past month.

Ofgem, the energy watchdog, has been forced to find new providers for more than two million energy customers in the past monnth after the rise in gas prices led to the collapse of seven small suppliers.

There is not expected to be any interruption to energy supply for customers during the handover, Ofgem said.

Jerry can sales up seventeenfold over weekend - Halfords

15:37 , Liam James

Halfords recorded a seventeenfold rise in the number of jerry cans sold over the weekend compared with the same period a week earlier.

The containers were the fourth most often searched for item on the motoring and cycling retailers website.

GMB joins calls for key worker fuel priority

15:26 , Lamiat Sabin

The GMB union has also called for key workers to be granted fuel priority.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Staggering incompetence has left our emergency services without the basics they need to save lives.

“In times of crisis we must prioritise our frontline workers.

“During this completely avoidable crisis, petrol must be prioritised for those key workers who save lives and keep the country moving.”

Nurses call for key worker fuel priority

15:18 , Liam James

The Royal College of Nursing has joined unions in calling for key workers to be granted fuel priority.

Patricia Marquis, director for England at the RCN, said: “We already know some nursing staff are warning their employers they may not be able to attend tomorrow to ensure shifts can be safely staffed.

“In light of these supply problems, health and care workers need to be a priority or patient care will be compromised.”

How and when will UK’s fuel crisis end?

15:04 , Liam James

Matt Mathers considers what needs to happen to get the petrol back in the pumps:

How and when will UK’s fuel crisis end?

How does petrol price rise compare with earlier years?

14:54 , Liam James

Petrol prices have gone up nearly 20 pence since the beginning of the year. The UK average rose from 116.46p on 1 January to 135.87p on Sunday, the highest price in 8 years.

In 2020, prices plunged at the onset of the pandemic. But in 2019 they went up just 7p in the whole year.

In 2018, prices were not even a penny by the end of the year, but that was after a slump as the global oil supply rose. From 1 January to late October, prices rose around 10p before dramatically falling before picking up again in the new year.

Panic buying: More from the street

14:38 , Liam James

Karenza Passmore, 55, from Langley Park in County Durham, said she was unable to drive to work on Monday.

“Yesterday I used 30 [miles] trying to find some diesel but there was no fuel,” she said.

“The nearest garage to me is four miles so it's a risk now, [chancing] my arm to see if the fuel stations have any in.”

Ms Passmore works is the director of the North East Religious Resources centre, a charity.

“Today I was due to see a colleague in the office - [I'm] going to have to cancel and do it online, hoping things settle and I can fill up soon!

“I don't want to add to the hype - I am sure that things will settle as they did with loo rolls and food on shelves - but the lack of planning and infrastructure for a clearly foreseeable problem is so disappointing.”


Visa changes don’t address ‘long-term problem’

14:24 , Liam James

Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB union, said the government’s visa plan is a short-term solution insufficient to solve the UK’s economic woes.

The proposed 10,000 short term visas for foreign workers will not “address what is a fundamental long-term problem, a government who has failed to plan for the economic needs of the country and for our failure to pay key workers properly”.

Asked if it would be wrong to have 100,000 visas given, he said: “I am not convinced that just issuing loads of visas is going to address the problem. We have got a short-term crisis, we are going to have to come together and find solutions for that.

“But there has to be an honest conversation about a country that's mired in low pay and insecure work. We are paying for years of driving down pay and conditions.”

Brexit and low wages to blame for UK truck driver shortage, Angela Merkel successor says

14:05 , Liam James

The truck driver shortage hitting the UK is a consequence of Brexit and low wages, the man set to replace Angela Merkel as Germany’s chancellor has said.

In a press conference on the morning of his election victory Olaf Scholz was asked by a British reporter about the chaos disrupting British supply chains.

“The free movement of labor is part of the European Union,” the SPD leader, the likely head of whatever government emerges from coalition talks, answered.

“We worked very hard to convince the British not to leave the union. Now they decided different and I hope they will manage the problems coming from that.”

Jon Stone, Policy Correspondent, has the full report:

Brexit and low wages to blame for UK truck driver shortage, Merkel successor says

Which big companies run UK petrol stations?

13:56 , Liam James

The UK’s biggest petrol station operator is the Motor Fuel Group. Other major players include EG — which also runs Asda — Esso, BP, Shell, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Tory culture war doesn’t get you petrol, says Labour

13:45 , Liam James

Labour frontbencher David Lammy said Britain is facing a “winter of discontent” with ongoing supply chain woes.

Speaking at a Labour conference fringe event, Lammy said: “We made a major decision to step out the EU and as a consequence of the [Boris Johnson’s] deal we will see skill shortages, we will see supply problems.”

He added: “There is a culture war [the Tories] are pushing but it starts to run thin, because guess what? Dealing with statues is not going to get you petrol in the morning.”

Petrol cost soars to highest in eight years

13:29 , Liam James

RAC figures show the average price of a litre of petrol in the UK hit 136.59p yesterday, up from 135.87p on Friday.

Pump prices have not been that high since September 2013.

The RAC warned prices may go higher still as retailers pass on the cost of rising wholesale prices.

Wholesale petrol rose almost two pence in four days last week to 125.22p a litre.

Petrol station closes toilets to stop customers waiting for fuel

13:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The manager of a petrol station near Heathrow Airport said staff had been forced to close the toilets to stop customers waiting for pumps to reopen.

He said despite a 4am delivery on Sunday, long queues formed immediately at the station, with drivers “desperately” seeking fuel.

The station was forced to close and then reopen at 7am, and staff had to take measures to manage customers’ frantic behaviour.

One driver arrived with a “truckload” of large canisters for filling, but was asked to leave the station, the manager said.

He said there was “no guarantee” when the next delivery would be, but that he had kept some fuel spare for members of the emergency services and those in desperate need.

The manager added that he “felt sorry” for members of cabin crew arriving in the UK unaware of the panic over fuel, who were unable to fill up their vehicles.

Reporting by PA

Key workers should be given priority for fuel – BMA

12:45 , Lamiat Sabin

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for healthcare staff and essential workers to be given priority to access fuel.

It warned that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of council at the BMA, said: “Emergency and essential workers rely on fuel both to travel to work and for their work itself – whether this is to get to hospitals, practices and other healthcare settings, or for ambulances to reach people in urgent need of care and GPs to visit very ill patients at home.

“Everyone will have their own reasons for needing to fill up, but as pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it.

“While the government has said it is putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel, the results of this won’t be immediate.

“Healthcare and essential workers must therefore be given priority access to fuel so they can continue their crucial work and guarantee care to patients.”

Aldi ‘insulated' from supply disruption, says CEO

12:28 , Liam James

The CEO of Aldi has said his company can weather the UK’s supply chain troubles due to its business model.

Giles Hurley said the supermarket chain faced “tighter” product availability but has been able to “insulate” customers from significant shortages or resultant price increases.

“It’s difficult to believe that anyone could be immune from the supply challenges we are seeing, but our business is pretty unique and ultimately well positioned to deal with these issues because of our reduced number of suppliers and smaller range,” he said.

Eustice calls for end to panic buying

12:15 , Liam James

Brexit could affect christmas goods supply, says SNP minister

12:01 , Liam James

John Swinney, deputy first minister of Scotland, said the government’s Brexit deal was causing problems for trade with Europe beyond the driver shortage.

Asked about the supply of goods for Christmas on BBC Radio Scotland earlier, Mr Swinney said there were supply difficulties beyond the shortage.

He said: “It's not just about the distribution arrangements, challenging though those are, it is also about the fact that the UK Government opted for an absolutely appalling arrangement with the European Union, which could have been avoided if it followed the advice we gave them to maintain membership of the single market.”

Minister says army not needed ‘at the moment’

11:35 , Liam James

The army will not be called in to ease the petrol crisis, the government says, as Boris Johnson staged an emergency meeting to discuss the option.

Ministers were considering triggering ‘Operation Escalin’, which could have seen hundreds of soldiers ordered to take over tankers, because of the shortage of drivers.

But George Eustice, the environment secretary, said: “We don’t judge that is necessary at the moment.”

More from Rob Merrick, deputy political editor, here:

Minister says army not needed for fuel crisis ‘at the moment’

Environment secretary blames panic buying for empty pumps

11:09 , Liam James

George Eustice, the environment secretary has blamed panic-buying motorists for petrol stations running dry.

He followed other ministers in saying there was no shortage of fuel and urged motorists to only buy petrol as they normally would.

“There isn’t a shortage. There have been some shortages of HGV drivers getting petrol to forecourts but actually that is quite limited,” he said in a pooled clip for broadcasters.

Word on the street: Panic buying

10:50 , Liam James

Roland McKibbin, 31, from Beckenham, London, said he was only able to reach one of his jobs on Monday having been forced to cancel the rest.

“I rely on fuel to travel to jobs, no fuel means I can't drive, which means I can't get to jobs with my tools,” he said.

“So, basically, the panic-buying idiots have lost me income, and directly taken food off the table for my wife and five-year old son, because I can't wire people's houses from home unfortunately.

“I wasted about 15 miles of fuel looking, in the end I had to turn back as I was on fumes.”

Mr McKibbin said being unable to travel would cost him “at least £200 for the day” while he could also have to cancel jobs on Tuesday.


EU drivers won’t return to help UK ‘get out of the s***’, says European union boss

10:36 , Liam James

Adam Forrest has more on the European worker’s view of the energy crisis:

EU drivers won’t help UK ‘get out of the s***’, says European union

Sadiq Khan: We knew in 2016 Brexit would cause fuel shortage

10:26 , Liam James

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said it was apparent in 2016 that Brexit would lead to a shortage of haulage drivers.

He said the government had “let their eye off the ball” as they knew a driver shortage was impending. The government knew the industry was struggling to train enough drivers during the pandemic, he said.

Fight breaks out at petrol station as fuel shortage grips UK | Independent TV

10:15 , Liam James

Footage of a fight on a London forecourt on a weekend of panic buying:

Watch: Fight breaks out at petrol station as fuel shortage grips UK

Energy crisis: Trio of financial hits will be hard on single parents, says Labour

10:07 , Liam James

Labour has warned that the combined effects of the Conservatives tax rises, Universal Credit cuts and the energy crisis are a “perfect storm” set to leave single-parent working families £1,757.61 a year worse off.

According to Labour's calculations, a working single parent with two children will lose 5 per cent of their income in April because of the government's decision to freeze personal income tax allowances, raise National Insurance and cut Universal Credit.

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary said: “It is not too late for the Government to change course, cancel their cut to Universal Credit and back struggling families this winter. Labour would maintain the uplift and replace Universal Credit.”

Some brands have 90% of petrol stations running dry

09:53 , Liam James

Some fuel supply brands are seeing pumps run dry at as many as 90 per cent of their petrol stations, according to an industry straw poll.

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), said half of the group’s members had some dry sites but a few said almost all of their sites were dry.

The PRA represents independent fuel retailers who now account for 65 per cent of all UK forecourts.

EU workers won’t sort out UK’s self-imposed problems, says Dutch trade unionist

09:36 , Liam James

Edwin Artema, of the Dutch Trade Union Federation said: “The EU workers we speak to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help UK out of the s*** they created themselves.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that regulation protecting drivers was ”not worth the paper it is written on because there is no enforcement and no interest to enforce it down the supply chain“.

”Drivers need way more than just a visa and a payslip.

“A Marshall Plan is needed for the whole of Western Europe to drag this entire industry back to the surface where it needs to be.”

09:25 , Liam James

Some fuel crisis tragicomedy playing out on Britain’s roads:

Labour says fuel crisis down to government immigration policy

09:19 , Liam James

Labour has pinned the fuel crisis on the government's attitude to immigration.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said “most people couldn’t care less whether the HGV is being driven by a British worker or a foreign worker.”

“What they want to know is when they get to the petrol station, they are able to fill up their car; when they are trying to get presents for their kids at Christmas they are going to be delivered; and when they are trying to order food it is available in our supermarkets and on online deliveries.”

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain she had been meeting with the Road Haulage Association over the past year to discuss impending problems.

“The government ignored those problems, which is why we are now facing the situation where people go to the supermarkets and see shortages of goods on the shelves, and why they are queuing up at petrol stations and not being able to fill up their tank,” she said.

Stop panic buying or fuel crisis will go on, says freight boss

09:06 , Liam James

Consumers must stop panic-buying to ease the fuel crisis as longer-term measures are implemented, Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at freight trade association Logistics UK, said.

Ms de Jong said the situation could “calm down quite quickly” if people stopped panicking and resumed buying fuel as they usually would.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We are seeing the impact of panic buying, we have been assured through the Petrol Retailers Association and we have been assured by some of the larger petrol companies in the country that there is enough fuel for everyone, but yet we have become very concerned and are buying and buying and have caused a very big problem.

“I represent and have been dealing with the government over the general shortage of HGV drivers, we have got a number of announcements there about increased tests, funding of new visas, so there are issues in the industry and some of these will take a while to resolve, some of these can be resolved, so a lot is being done, but we really need to keep calm, just as we did through Covid with toilet rolls, for this not to continue.”

Military assistance in no ‘panacea’, says Madderson

08:50 , Liam James

Bringing in soldiers to drive fuel lorries would not be enough to end the current crisis, the chair of the Petrol Retailers Association said.

Brian Madderson said soldiers had been trained and would help but “it’s not an absolute panacea.”

He said there was “no one single lever that is going to be pulled by government and industry together which is going to sort this situation.

“It’s a matter of small levers, each contributing a little going forward.”

‘Completely and utterly’ irresponsible to leak fuel crisis comments, says industry chief

08:36 , Liam James

The chair of the Petrol Retailers Association has criticised the whistleblower who leaked industry concerns over the fuel supply to the press.

Brian Madderson said it was “completely and utterly irresponsible” to reveal the comments made by BP executives in meetings with the government.

Competition law suspended for fuel industry

08:19 , Liam James

The business secretary announced last night that competition law had been suspended to allow oil companies to target petrol stations running low on fuel.

The industry will be temporarily exempt from the Competition Act 1998 to better share information and prioritise sites, Kwasi Kwarteng said.

Mr Kwarteng said there were “long-standing contingency plans” that were devised to tackle a fuel industry crisis.

He reiterated that there was enough fuel to meet demand but there were not enough people to deliver it to petrol stations.

Boris Johnson considering bringing in army to deliver fuel

08:06 , Liam James

The prime minister is said to be considering whether to order the assistance of soldiers to tackle the fuel crisis, according to reports.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, yesterday refused to rule out bringing in soldiers to drive fuel lorries amid an industry shortage.

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