Boris Johnson rules out cost of living intervention

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Boris Johnson is set to step down in September when either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak are installed as the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister

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The Conservative leader is expected to step down from the role in September while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak compete to become the next Tory leader.

But as the leadership contest rages on, the country continues its descent into one of the worst cost-of-living crises in decades.

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Despite this, work to alleviate rising food and energy prices has been halted as Parliament is currently on its summer recess and Mr Johnson has now confirmed that no action will be taken until a new Prime Minister is elected by Conservative Party members.

It comes as leaders across Britain are pressuring the government to step in and recall MPs to solve the problem.

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Boris Johnson will not intervene before leaving the role of Prime Minister as the UK’s cost of living crisis deepens. (Image credit: Getty Images)

What did Boris Johnson say about the cost of living?

A Downing Street official confirmed no new fiscal measures would be introduced before the Prime Minister is expected to leave office in early September.

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However, the spokesman also confirmed that Mr Johnson would be speaking to Chancellor Nadhmi Zahawi prior to his departure from his role to prioritize cost-of-living policy for later in the year.

Mr Johnson and Mr Zahawi are both reportedly currently on holiday while Parliament is on recess.

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The spokesman said: “The government has recognized that the end of the year will bring greater challenges with things like changes to the (energy) price cap.

“That’s why we introduced a number of measures at the beginning of the summer to help the population. Some of the global stresses have clearly increased since the announcement.

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“By convention, it is not for this Prime Minister to make any major fiscal interventions at this time. It will be for a future prime minister.”

How was the reaction?

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Business leaders and opposition politicians have urged Mr Johnson to take action now on the cost of living before Ofgem’s energy price cap is raised again in October.

Former Labor MP and Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote in the Daily Record that an urgent COBRA meeting was essential immediately, adding: “The facts are grim at this point: four out of five pensioners, four out of five single parents and four out of every five large Families are affected by fuel poverty – when their energy bills make up more than 10 percent of their weekly income.

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“Around 35 million people in 13.5 million households are at risk of fuel poverty in October – an unprecedented 49.6% of the UK.”

His comments were echoed by Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Strugeon, who wrote to Mr Johnson to ask him to meet with UK leaders as soon as possible.

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In her letter, she wrote: “You have proposed that a first meeting of the Heads of Government Council should take place in September.

“However, as I am sure you must realize, the situation is deteriorating rapidly and many people across the UK simply cannot afford to wait until September for further action to be taken.

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“I am therefore writing to request an emergency meeting of the Council of Heads of Government and propose that we, as leaders of our respective governments, meet as soon as possible this week to discuss and agree on urgent steps to help those most in need now help, and also formulate an action plan for the coming autumn and winter.”

The Liberal Democrats have called for the cancellation of the planned October energy price cap hike, with leader Sir Ed Davey saying: “This is an emergency and the Government must step in now to save families and pensioners £1,400 by accommodating the proposed increase canceled energy bills this October.”

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Tony Danker, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), joined the calls for action.

He said: “The economic situation that people and businesses are facing requires all hands on the pump this summer.

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“We simply cannot afford a summer of government inactivity while the leadership race is played out, followed by a slow start of a new prime minister and cabinet.

“The Prime Minister and Chancellor should take the next few weeks to get a handle on the emerging crisis and the planning needed to deal with it. This means that the successor – whoever that may be – has the very best chance of getting out of the blocks quickly.”

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