Ed Davey: Boris Johnson is concentrating on saving his own skin, not rising living costs

In a strong appearance on The Sunday Morning Show, Ed Davey called on the Government to hold a cost of living summit in No 10, a work event, not a party, if you like.

He called for a windfall tax on energy companies and said that if the Conservatives had stuck with the policies he introduced when he was Energy Secretary, our bills would be £2.5 billion. You can watch the whole thing here:

He was challenged by Sophie Raworth on his tweet:

Ed replied that he had respect for rank and file police officers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. For them to do their job, the public have to have confidence in them and the way the Met has handled this has undermined that.

He took us through the Met’s actions of the past few weeks, first saying they wouldn’t investigate the Downing Street Parties, then they said they might but wanted to let Sue Gray get on with her report, then they would investigate but Sue Gray’s report could be published in full and then they changed their minds for a fourth time and said that Sue Gray’s report had to wait for their investigation to be completed. “This is chaos, absolute chaos.” It might be cock up, he added, but it could also be something much worse.”

He said that he had called for an investigation by the Metropolitan Police several weeks ago. If they had done that then, they would have completed their  investigation and we wouldn’t have the paralysis in Government that we are seeing now.

He said that nobody wanted the Met to make such a hash of this and had a go at Boris.

“We have a Prime Minister who has broken the rules and lied about it to Parliament. No-one trusts this Prime Minister. It’s why I’ve called very strongly that he should resign.”


He said that Sue Gray’s report should be published in full on Monday.

The conversation then moved to the cost of living crisis. Sophie Raworth went after the green levies on people’s bills, like it was these and not the rising gas prices that was causing the problem. Ed rightly pointed out that when he was Energy Secretary he invested in renewables and insulation and reduced energy bills. If the Conservatives hadn’t junked that the minute he was out the door, then bills would be £2.5 billion cheaper.

Ed said that Boris Johnson was so focused on saving his own skin that he wasn’t taking the action necessary to help people cope with the cost of living crisis. He called for a summit in Downing Street with energy, water and telecoms companies to get them to take action. He highlighted Lib Dem proposals for a Robin Hood Tax on the profits of the gas companies which should be used to reduce people’s bills.

He also called for the Warm Homes Discount to be increased to include everyone on Universal Credit and the doubling of Winter Fuel Allowance.

“We have an energy crisis, the Government is doing nothing. Lib Dem proposals would save the typical family £1000 per year. That’s the sort of package the Government should be putting forward and the fact that it isn’t is because Boris Johnson is too busy saving his own skin.”

The Lib Dem package includes:

  • Cutting household energy bills: Taking £300 off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by doubling the Warm Homes Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders including Russia’s Gazprom based in London.
  • Reversing planned tax rises: Scrapping the National Insurance tax hike and the freezing of Income Tax thresholds in April. This would save a working family on Universal Credit an estimated £403 this year.
  • Offering cheaper broadband: Forcing broadband providers to offer vulnerable customers cheaper deals of around £15 a month through social tariffs, benefitting up to eight million households and saving them up to £270 each this year. These tariffs are currently offered by some broadband providers on a voluntary basis, but the government could order the regulator Ofcom to make them mandatory by using a change in the law introduced in 2020.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Brad Barrows 30th Jan '22 - 11:42am

    Good article but you appear to have missed out the word ‘cheaper’ at the end of the first sentence of the second paragraph. (I think it is worth fixing.)

  • John Marriott 30th Jan '22 - 12:14pm

    I thought that Sir Ed’s performance this morning on TV, although brief, showed what an asset he could still prove to be to the Lib Dems. It’s good to know that he has so many feisty and able ladies backing him up. I am, for some reason, reminded of the reverse of Lady Thatcher’s quote about the late Lord Whitelaw; “Every Prime Minister needs a Willy”. Given the plight of Johnson, a comment from a listener on LBC the other morning was very apposite, namely; “Every Prime Minister needs a Dick”😀😀!

  • Yep. Good performance. Ed is very likeable and that’s the asset we should push. Get him in as many situations as possible where he can show himself in this way. And I would urge his staff, don’t try and change him in media training. By all means work on messaging but don’t try and change his basic personality.

  • Well done again Ed and as I have said before there may not be many of them but the Lib Dems have a very able group of MPs, more power to their elbows.

  • Helen Dudden 31st Jan '22 - 12:53pm

    It this now a clear indication of the state of British politics? This being the case how will it affect voting?

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