Kwasi’s Energy Crisis Briefing War with Treasury Explained

The war within Whitehall over the energy crisis is continuing in earnest this morning, with Securities Minister Damian Hinds becoming the latest trooper dragged into the crossfire – seemingly as a member of Team Kwarteng. Here’s a reminder of how we got here…

Yesterday on Sky News, BEIS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng claimed he was speaking to government colleagues, particularly in the Treasury,” to try and solve the energy crisis, specifically for manufacturers and businesses at the mercy of soaring prices. He didn’t promise any additional support or bailouts, although he assured viewers that BEIS were “engaging” with the Treasury on the government’s plans. Pretty straightforward.

Only a few hours later, an unnamed Treasury source speaking to Sky’s Sam Coates flat out denied Kwarteng claims – and essentially accused him of lying to a national broadcaster: “This is not the first time the BEIS Secretary has made things up in interviews. To be crystal clear the treasury are not involved in any talks.” Later, Treasury officials doubled down by claiming that while BEIS had met with the Treasury to discuss bailing out an American fertiliser company, those were “very specific and targeted intervention[s]”. Definitely nothing to do with the energy crisis, they insisted.

Now Securities Minister Damian Hinds has found himself stuck in the middle of all this. Asked this morning on Sky News whether Kwasi had “told porkiesHinds said “of course not“, adding: “these unnamed sources stories come out from time to time… the fact is government departments, government ministers, talk to each other the whole time … [this] is something that the Business Secretary, and of course the Energy Secretary, is going to be totally focused on.” No comment as of yet from the Chancellor himself, presumably trying to keep his mouth shut as well as his chequebook…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Damian Hinds Kwasi Kwarteng Rishi Sunak
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