The Treasury has accused Kwasi Kwarteng of “making things up” after he said they were in talks about helping businesses struggling with high energy prices.
Kwarteng, the business secretary, has been warned by energy-intensive industries that some factories are “days away” from having to halt production because of the cost of fuel.
This morning he said he was working closely with Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, to help industry deal with the surging wholesale gas prices. But in a highly unusual move, the Treasury swiftly denied that any talks had taken place.
At a meeting with managers from paper, glass, cement, lime, ceramics, chemicals and steel industries on Friday, Kwarteng was asked for subsidies, a cap on gas prices and ways to minimise gas transmission costs.