Political Agenda: Mathew Beech

“Party leaders still at each other’s throats over energy”

Ed Miliband has once again laid into the major suppliers and David Cameron. At PMQs last week, he did his best to portray Cameron as part of a “big seven: the prime minister and the big six energy companies”.
The Labour leader accused the PM of being “the unofficial spokesman for the energy companies” and having “gone from Rambo to Bambi” in failing to “stand up” to the big six.
The solution, Miliband told the House, would be his price freeze, which could come into force this winter if MPs voted to support it, rather than “kicking the problem into the long grass” with a competition review.
Cameron fired back, saying the real answer to rising energy bills is “both competition and rolling back the costs of charges”.
Having discovered Miliband recently switched to First Utility, Cameron took joy in reminding him that First Utility chief executive Ian McCaig said a price freeze “could put me under”.
Cameron said Miliband had joined “one of these insurgent companies to cut his bills”, adding he “comes here every week and attacks Tory policy; then he goes home and adopts Tory policy to help his own family”.
Elsewhere, energy minister Michael Fallon gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee and infuriated MPs – in particular the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas – when he described why new nuclear is benefiting from a “market support mechanism” rather than a subsidy.
Lucas later tweeted she was “even more certain” that new nuclear is being subsidised and “pretence otherwise is ridiculous”.