Boris Johnson news – live: Government to hold energy crisis talks as PM in US to meet Joe Biden – The Independent

Alok Sharma insists gas supplies are secure

Boris Johnson has admitted the energy crisis could last for months, as the government scrambles to protect businesses and consumers from a sharp increase in gas prices, brought about by a surge in global demand and a shortage of wind power in the UK this summer.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will meet gas industry bosses on Monday to discuss the issue, after wholesale costs spiked 70 per cent in August alone.

The minister, who has acknowledged that it is a “worrying time” for customers, held talks with the regulator Ofgem on Sunday, insisting the public would be protected by the government’s energy price caps.

Boris Johnson also sought to reassure the public by saying he had “no doubt that supply issues will be readily addressed”. However, there are fears that more small energy suppliers could fold, after four firms went bust recently.

It has been reported that Bulb, the country’s sixth-largest energy provider, is seeking a bailout as a result of the difficulties facing the industry.

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Britain’s sixth-largest energy company seeks bailout

Bulb, the UK’s sixth-largest energy company, is seeking a bailout amid a dramatic surge in wholesale gas prices.

The startup, which provides electricity and gas to some 1.7 million customers, is reportedly working to secure new avenues of funding.

A Bulb spokesperson said: “From time to time we explore various opportunities to fund our business plans and further our mission to lower bills and lower CO2.

“Like everyone in the industry, we’re monitoring wholesale prices and their impact on our business.”

Daniel Keane has the details:

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 10:14

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PM to ask Biden to reopen travel from UK

Boris Johnson will ask Joe Biden to reopen travel from the UK to the US, a British minister has confirmed.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was safe for America to grant entry to British travellers.

“Well, obviously, international travel is incredibly important for the UK, we want to get to a situation where Brits are able to travel to one of our closest partners in the world, and the prime minister will be making it very, very clear that travel to and from the UK is safe,” he said.

“It’s important to us, and as strong international partners that’s what we should be looking to do.”

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 09:50

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PM tries to soothe tensions with France

Boris Johnson has spoken of Britain’s “ineradicable” love for France in a bid to soothe tensions with Paris, following the backlash caused by the Aukus nuclear submarine partnership between Australia, the US and the UK.

As a result of this agreement, France lost its 56bn euro deal to provide Australia with 12 diesel-electric submarines.

French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the move a “stab in the back”, while Emmanuel Macron’s administration described the UK as a “vassal” state of the US.

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 09:30

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Inside Politics

In our daily politics round-up, Jon Stone takes a closer look at Boris Johnson’s climate diplomacy and his chances of success:

Inside Politics:

Boris Johnson is touching down in America for a bit of climate diplomacy – but he isn’t optimistic, writes Jon Stone

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 09:10

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Only six in 10 chance of success at Cop26, says Johnson

Boris Johnson has said there is only a “six out of 10” chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

Speaking from New York, he warned bluntly that some major economies “need to do much more” if the talks are to prove a success.

“It’s going to be tough, but people need to understand that this is crucial for the world,” he added.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 08:52

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Truss to meet Iranian foreign minister over detained UK nationals

The new foreign secretary Liz Truss will demand that Iran releases detained UK nationals – including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – during a meeting with her Iranian counterpart on Monday.

She will hold talks with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ms Truss said: “I will be asking Iran to ensure the immediate and permanent release of all arbitrarily detained British nationals in Iran, and to begin working with us to mend our fractured relations.

“The UK, US and our international partners are fully committed to a nuclear deal, but every day that Iran continues to delay talks whilst escalating its own nuclear programme means there is less space for diplomacy.”

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 08:37

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France cancels defence summit with UK in protest

France has cancelled a summit with British defence secretary Ben Wallace in protest at the Aukus submarine deal, reports have suggested.

The move comes in response to Australia’s decision to cancel a submarine deal with France in favour of the new Aukus security partnership with the US and Britain.

Here’s Peter Stubley with more details:

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 08:20

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Supply chain issues could last months, PM admits

Boris Johnson has not ruled out the possibility that the energy crisis could last for months.

Its knock-on effects include a carbon dioxide shortage threatening meat production and the distribution of frozen food.

Although the prime minister, who is currently in the US to meet Joe Biden, said the crisis would be “temporary”, he was unwilling to give an assurance that it would not last for months.

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 08:06

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Kwarteng to hold emergency energy talks

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will meet energy industry leaders on Monday amid fears about rising gas prices.

This comes after wholesale costs rose by 70 per cent in August, exacerbating a situation that has worsened significantly since January.

The minister did not out appointing a “special administrator”, which is seen as a form of temporary nationalisation.

“Our priority is to protect consumers. If a supplier of last resort is not possible, a special administrator would be appointed by Ofgem and the government,” Mr Kwarteng said.

“The objective is to continue supply to customers until the company can be rescued or customers moved to new suppliers.”

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 07:53

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live UK politics coverage. 

Rory Sullivan20 September 2021 07:46

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