May faces backbench revolt after she ditches pre-election prices pledge
THERESA MAY and her weak minority government faced a major Tory revolt yesterday over the way she ditched her pre-election pledge to cap energy prices.
A backlash from 53 Tory MPs, led by former minister John Penrose and including former cabinet members and ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith, is demanding the PM fulfil her promise.
The scale of the protest, which has the backing of 38 Labour and SNP MPs, threatens to undermine Ms May’s leadership further following her disastrous general election.
Her pledge would have helped the 17 million families “preyed on” by the Big Six energy suppliers save up to £100 a year on bills.
However the promise never appeared in the Queen’s speech sparking accusations of a U-turn.
Weeks later British Gas hiked its electricity prices by a huge 12.5 per cent, hitting more than three million customers.
Energy regulator Ofgem is now considering introducing a price cap on bills aimed at protecting around 2.5 million vulnerable consumers, but Labour and campaigners argue that the government must do more to widen this proposal.
A cross-party letter to the PM, signed by the MPs said: “We are writing to urge you to extend Ofgem’s proposals of July 3 2017 by introducing an energy price cap that protects all of the 17 million families currently on expensive standard variable tariff deals, not just the two million vulnerable ones.
“While these proposals are a step in the right direction, it is clear we must do more to protect the further 15 million households who continue to be preyed on by the Big Six energy firms.”
The letter goes on to say that most rival energy fi rms also support the price cap.
“We hope you will work with us and Ofgem to stop this Big Six stitch-up, and pledge to help the millions of households who Ofgem seem set to ignore,” it added.