- Sputnik International, 1920
UK Fuel Crisis
Fuel prices in the UK rose sharply in the end of the summer, creating a risk supply chain disruptions. The situation was aggravated by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, due to which the number of truck drivers, including fuel tankers, has decreased.

Critics Slam BoJo for Foreign Vacation as Range of Crises Mount in UK

© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, Britain, October 6, 2021.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, Britain, October 6, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.10.2021
Due to the ongoing natural gas crisis in Europe, British steel, glass, ceramics, and paper producers, among others, have warned that they may be forced to suspend production unless the government acts to lower soaring energy prices.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for taking a family vacation, his first since early 2020, in the midst of a fuel price crisis that might grind industry to a standstill, The Daily Mail reported on Monday.
Johnson took his 33-year-old pregnant wife, Carrie, and one-year-old son Winfred away on a sunny trip at the lavish Costa del Sol, Southern Spain holiday house of one of his ministers, and Downing Street has stressed that the prime minister has full control of the country.
At the same time, Johnson is facing mounting opposition from his critics, who are concerned that thousands of manufacturing jobs will be lost in key northern constituencies as a result of global demand and supply chain concerns following the pandemic, which has sent gasoline prices skyrocketing.
According to the report, Gareth Stace, director general of UK Steel, reacted angrily, questioning the timing of the PM's vacation at a time when numerous critical industries were under severe stress.
"I'm sure he can get on the phone and get talking to them but to my mind, now is not the time for a prime minister to be on holiday, from the steel sector point of view," he is quoted in the report as saying.
At the same time, one of the sources told the Sunday Mirror that although it is "fine" for Johnson to take a break, "the timing shows just how out of touch he is with ordinary Brits facing bills, bills and yet more bills."
Tony Blair's former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, tweeted his discontent about the news on Monday morning as well.
"Everybody's entitled to a break and you want people in public life to be fit and healthy and focused, and my problem with him is that it underlines the fact that he isn't really focused on the job in the way that he should be," he is quoted as saying in a separate interview on the matter. "It's also true, as you know I worked with Tony Blair a long time, you can do an awful lot of work wherever you are, but I feel that Boris Johnson is trolling us the whole time. I don't think he's focused on the job in the way that he should be."
FILE PHOTO: Stainless steel tubes are stored ready to be made into exhausts at the Eminox factory, during a post-Budget visit by Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, in Gainsborough, - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.10.2021
UK Fuel Crisis
UK Steel Industry Begs Government for Extra Energy Subsidies to Save Jobs
The head of the British GMB general trade union Gary Smith reportedly stated that "industry is on the brink of collapse, while our members are desperately concerned their jobs are about to go down the pan."
"While working people worry about how they are going to pay the bills, the Prime Minister is relaxing in a luxury villa - missing in action once more," he added.
In his turn, Security Minister Damian Hinds said it was "important for the whole country" that the prime minister has time to switch off, while Downing Street and government leaders backed his right to take a vacation.
"When is the right time? I think it is important that people do have an opportunity to be with their families to have some relaxing, unwinding," he said in response to "wrong timing" allegations. "But I wouldn't want to overstate the amount of unwinding and relaxing you get to do as prime minister because as I say you are constantly in touch, you are constantly being briefed and you remain in charge of the Government."
Johnson's press secretary reportedly reiterated this argument, noting that the prime minister "has been kept regularly updated on the ongoing work to address the current issues around fuel and supply chains."
Earlier the UK media reported that Johnson was said to be "utterly exhausted" by the events of recent months. Especially as this comes after the prime minister was unable to enjoy his summer "staycation" in the UK's West Country, which was cut short after only a day because of the Afghanistan situation.
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