Davey: We need leaders who can act over energy supplies

Writing in today’s Times, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey says that Boris Johnson has spent much of the past two weeks shacked up in his parliamentary office pleading for his own skin. Meanwhile, one hundred thousand Russian troops have massed on Ukraine’s border threaten the largest military action in Europe since the Second World War. Telling the Tories they need to get a grip fast, he warns that the gas Russia supplies to Europe could fall by up to 30 per cent and that already high gas prices will treble or worse.

Liberal Democrats have called for a “Robin Hood tax” on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders, including Russian energy giant, Gazprom.

One hundred thousand Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s border threaten the largest military action in Europe since the Second World War…

Yet Boris Johnson has spent much of the past two weeks shacked up in his parliamentary office, pleading with wavering Tory MPs, desperate to save his own skin.

The Conservatives need to get a grip fast. If Putin invades Ukraine, the gas Russia supplies to Europe could fall by up to 30 per cent. Analysts predict that already high gas prices will treble or worse… When many households are already having to choose between heating and eating, British families will be left to the mercy of the market and global gas companies…

What is truly scandalous is that the Tories are failing to take the action needed to help people with their energy bills. Their proposed £200 rebate fails to make a dent in the upcoming increase, while households will have to pay it back in even higher bills over the next few years.

Liberal Democrats have called for a “Robin Hood tax” on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders, including the London-based trading arm of Russian energy giant, Gazprom, which has cashed in a £179 million dividend…

So far, the Conservative government has been weak and rudderless, absent from key international talks. Worse still, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have even failed to act here in London, against dirty Russian money, to send Putin and his cronies a message…

Yet what should alarm people the most is that just when many are unable to afford their heating bills and Russia seeks to dramatically change the politics and map of Europe, Downing Street is distracted on saving their own skins. It’s time for Boris Johnson to step aside. It’s time for politicians who will stand up to Russia, decarbonise our economy and cut people’s energy bills.

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8 Comments

  • Brad Barrows 7th Feb '22 - 11:09am

    In the face of an energy crisis, we must be willing to use alternative sources of power generation to gas – even those that produce relatively more CO2 – since we can not allow families to be left unable to afford to heat their homes or our society to face rolling power cuts.

  • John Laband 7th Feb '22 - 11:31am

    We need to remind the Russians that marching into Ukraine would have similar end results to marching into Afghanistan. At the same time we need to be aware that the history of Ukraine was to be divided between Russia and what was the Polish Lithuanian commonwealth with the border being the river Dnieper, for centuries.

  • John Marriott 7th Feb '22 - 11:37am

    @Brad Barrows
    How about renationalising the utilities as well? And PLEASE let’s have a rethink about heat pumps!

  • Thanks for bringing non-subscribers this article, though it could be clearer where the introductory summary ends and quotation from Davey’s piece begins. Otherwise it just reads like Repetition of ‘shacked up’ etc., especially to those of who are fans of #JustAMinute.

  • Jenny Barnes 7th Feb '22 - 1:54pm

    Secreetary of State for Energy in the LibDem/Con government of 2010 -15 was one Ed Davey. So why are building regulations now so lax? How many nuclear power stations built ? Why is all our housing so poorly insulated?

  • Chris Moore 7th Feb '22 - 3:42pm

    A bit absurd to blame everything on Ed, Jenny!!

    He was certainly the best Sec of State for energy that we’d had for many years.

    As a matter of fact, he did also give approval to the first UK nuclear power plant for many years.

  • Well said Chris. After the 2015 election, the Tories dismantled much of the good that Ed had put in place. We are paying for it now. Its the Tories that effectively pulled the plug on other replacement nuclear power stations.

  • Peter Hirst 8th Feb '22 - 4:41pm

    We at least need a PM who acts rationally in the face of threats whether they are to our energy supplies or an agressive dictatorship. Good decison making requires looking ahead and preventing emergencies from emerging. On both of the above we have avoided taking action that would have helped to prevent them.

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