Widdecombe says nation ‘knew Boris was chaotic’

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The warning comes as Mr Johnson’s grip on power seems to be loosening by the minute. His popularity has been slashed over the “Partygate” scandal, where Mr Johnson admitted to attending a party at 10 Downing Street that reportedly broke his own Covid rules. With calls for resignations rampant, and even signs that his own MPs might cast him out with votes of no confidence, Mr Johnson appears to be hanging by a threat.

All eyes are on civil servant Sue Gray’s private investigation, which is poised to deliver a verdict on Mr Johnson’s behaviour – he claims he did not know it was a party.

But while the storm ensues, another crisis is taking hold.

Briton’s energy bills have surged for millions of households whose old energy suppliers went bust as they failed to cope with rising gas prices.

With many households having to switch more expensive suppliers, it has hit some of the poorer households hard.

And after a price cap rise in October, it is now expected that energy bills could soar by 50 percent to £2,000 in another price cap rise in April.

Lord Matt Riley, a former Conservative peer, told Express.co.uk that this should be a matter of urgency for the Prime Minister, who needs to do everything he can to fix this.

He said: “We should be doing everything to try and moderate bills, they are a huge crisis for ordinary working people in particular.

“Energy bills tend to hit poorer people harder than they tend to hit richer people.

‘”Energy is absolutely fundamental to economic growth.”

And he has not been impressed with the current Government.

He said: “Our energy policy has been badly misguided over the last 10 and it has only got worse under this Government.

“There is a lot wrong with our energy policy at the moment.”

One measure Mr Johnson could take is scrapping the EU VAT, a five percent levy on energy bills.

This policy was brought in by the bloc back in 1993 and Mr Johnson even promised to get rid of this during the Brexit referendum campaign.

But the Prime Minister has recently poured cold water on this suggestion and called it a “blunt instrument”, appearing to turn his back on “Red Wall voters”.

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This may not have been the best call from Mr Johnson, who also needs Red Wall MPs on his side while he straddles through hot water over the “Partygate scandal”.

The Red Wall refers to the traditional Labour seats which the Tories took from its opposition in the 2019 election.

It consists of mainly of Brexiteers, who may feel betrayed by Mr Johnson’s broken Brexit promise.

Already one Red Wall MP, Christian Wakeford defected from the Tory party to Labour just moments before Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Mike Foster, head of Energy Utilities Alliance, told Express.co.uk said that scrapping the EU VAT could have saved households up to £100 and would have helped to win back Red Wall hearts.

He said: “There is a range of short-term measures the Government can adopt to mitigate the impact of sky-high energy bills and win back the support of Red Wall voters.

Firstly, scrapping VAT on energy costs, this will save the average household £100.”

He said that Mr Johnson may have made a huge error by ruling this out.

Mr Foster told Express.co.uk: “It is a clear betrayal of Brexit voters, who were promised that VAT on energy bills would be scrapped.

“If the Prime Minister doesn’t stay true to his word, they would be right to feel they have been lied to.

“Whether he should have made that promise or not, without understanding the implications is irrelevant, he made that promise and he needs to deliver on it.”

While Lord Ridley urged that Mr Johnson needs to get his act together with better energy policies, he did not think that scrapping the VAT would save the Prime Minister.

He told Express.co.uk: “I don’t myself think that scrapping VAT on energy bills will make a huge difference either way.”

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