Ed Miliband skewered for ‘nonsense’ claim gas crisis was ‘made in Downing Street’

Expert accuses Russia of blackmailing Europe over gas trade

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The UK is braced for a tough winter this year due to the looming risk of power cuts to homes and industry, National Grid has warned. Dwindling supplies of gas and skyrocketing energy prices threaten to trigger a full-blown health crisis as experts warn the elderly and most vulnerable might struggle to heat their homes. Nine energy suppliers have already gone bust in the past month and former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has accused the Government of allowing the energy crunch to develop.

The Shadow Secretary for Business and MP for Doncaster North said on Thursday the Government has failed to secure a long-term energy plan, which has now come back to bite the UK.

He said: “The UK is particularly vulnerable to increases in gas prices because the Government allowed our gas storage facilities to close, blocked onshore wind, cut solar subsidies, stalled our nuclear programme and because of their total failure to deliver a long-term plan for energy efficiency.”

His sentiments were echoed on Twitter where he claimed the energy crisis was “made at Downing Street”.

He said: “Spiralling energy prices will be devastating for families and businesses.

“We are less resilient and more vulnerable because of a decade of Government failure.

“This is a crisis made in Downing Street.”

However, Mr Miliband’s comments did not go down well with the Twitter crowd and many pointed out in the replies the world as a whole is experiencing gas shortages.

Callum McIver tweeted: “In this case, I don’t think it is.

“The current crisis is a global gas supply and demand issue in the main – a risk that was foreseeable but not acted upon.”

Emmanuel Macron says gas prices are providing 'strong pressure'

Nicholas Beale said: “UK has decarbonised more than any G20.

“Gas prices are a global issue, zero to do with Downing Street.

“Most households only spend a tiny percentage of their income on gas and won’t notice the increase.

“And reducing gas consumption essential for #climatecrisis”

William John Bird said the Labour MP was throwing out “empty words” and Paul Bibby added: “Nonsense. Energy prices are market-driven.”

Ministers have recently accused Russia of deliberately withholding gas supplies from Europe in a bid to secure pipeline deals.

Russia has recently completed the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, however, the Kremlin is still awaiting approval from regulators.

Recent figures published by Gazprom appear to show Russia has been undercutting the flow of gas into Belarus by nearly 70 percent.

It is estimated about 90 percent of the gas in Europe is being imported from abroad.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Thursday the approval of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline would have “significant security implications” for the continent.

The pipeline bypasses Poland and Ukraine in the Baltic Sea, which has led to claims of Russia undermining the national security of eastern Europe.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Although Nord Stream 2 will not directly impact the UK’s energy security, it could have serious implications for central and eastern European countries.

“Some European countries are nearly wholly dependent on Russian gas, which raises serious concerns about energy security.”

However, Russia’s Deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said approval of the pipeline would help “cool off the current situation”.

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