Gordon Brown humiliates Sir Keir Starmer as he exposes Labour Achilles’ heel on crisis

Shaun Bailey criticises Gordon Brown for cost of living comments

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The former Prime Minister has called for the Government to temporarily nationalise energy companies that fail to lower bills for Britons. And he urged the Government to “pause any further increase in the cap” to stop prices from rising even higher than they already are.

His latest intervention comes just days after he urged Boris Johnson to hold daily meetings of the emergency COBRA committee and to thrash out a plan with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

He said it was important the Government got on top of the economic situation now.

“Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do crises.

“They don’t take holidays, and don’t politely hang fire – certainly not to suit the convenience of a departing PM and the whims of two potential successors,” he wrote in the Guardian as he put forward his suggestions for dealing with the current mess.

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“Families of 2022 are about to suffer more than in 2008-09 and only bold and decisive action starting this week will rescue people from hardship and reunite our fractured country.”

He said the Government must immediately: cancel the energy cap rise set for this autumn, agree further handouts to vulnerable households and find new energy supplies and partners internationally.

His proposals go much further than anything put forward by Sir Keir or the Labour Party.

The Opposition has been highly critical of the Government’s handling of the current economic situation but has not put forward plans of how it would deal with the situation differently.

It has accused Boris Johnson of being “missing in action” after taking a holiday last week while the Bank of England raised interest rates – but failed to address the fact that Sir Keir is also away taking a summer break.

Offering no in-depth policy, Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, attacked the Government on Monday: “People are worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills and do their weekly food shop, and all this Tory prime minister does is shrug his shoulders.

“An economic crisis like this requires strong leadership and urgent action – but instead we have a Tory party that’s lost control and are stuck with two continuity candidates who can only offer more of the same.

“Labour would start by scrapping tax breaks on oil and gas producers and providing more help to people who are struggling to pay their energy bills.

“Only a Labour government can tackle this crisis and deliver the stronger, more-secure economy that Britain needs.”

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It is thought Sir Keir will begin to finally set out Labour’s own suggestions next week.

No10 has ruled out an emergency budget before a new Prime Minister is in place, highlighting it would be extremely unusual to announce extra fiscal measures now.

“Clearly these global pressures meaning challenging times for the public. The Government recognised that the end of the year will present wider challenges with things like changes to the (energy) price cap,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“That is why, at the start of the summer, we introduced a number of measures to help the public.

“Clearly some of the global pressures have increased since that was announced.

“By convention it is not for this Prime Minister to make major fiscal interventions during this period. It will be for a future prime minister.”

Mr Sunak has promised extra payments to households to help cover the cost of bills this autumn.

Meanwhile, Ms Truss has said that is she wins the Tory leadership contest she will scrap the green levies on energy bills and slash taxes to help hard-working Britons.

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