Petrol & supply crisis could last until CHRISTMAS, admits Boris Johnson as contingency plans drawn up

BRITAIN’S fuel and HGV crisis could last until Christmas and beyond, Boris Johnson suggested today – but vowed the situation is “starting to improve”.

The PM told Brits to go about their business as usual – and rejected pleas for NHS and key workers to get priority to the petrol pumps.

Boris Johnson said the fuel crisis is beginning to stabilise and people should fill up as normal

Panic-buying Brits queued through the night for petrol as the PM faces mounting pressure to send in the army now to ease the spiralling fuel crisis.

He said in a telly clip this evening he understood the worries of the nation who have been unable to get their hands on much-needed fuel to get to work or see loved ones.

And he begged them to only fill up when they needed it to stop the situation slipping out of control once again.

The PM insisted: “We now are starting to see the situation improve – we’re hearing from industry that supplies are coming back onto the forecourt in the normal way.

“I would really just urge everybody to go about their business in the normal way and fill up in the normal way, when you really need it.”

On getting through until the end of the year, he said: “We want to make sure that we have all the preparations necessary to get through til Christmas and beyond, not just in the petrol stations, but all parts of the supply chain.”

He insisted the global economy bouncing back after Covid was sucking in a “huge amount of demand” for gas and deliveries.

The PM said his plans to relax the competition rules at petrol pumps, and giving temporary visas to truckers will help alleviate the pressure.

“People should be confident and go about their business,” he added.

Desperate motorists reported long lines of cars at service stations across the country throughout the evening and into the early hours of morning.

Motorists have queued through the night for fuel
Motorists have queued through the night for fuelCredit: Reuters
Long lines stretched outside petrol stations across the country
Long lines stretched outside petrol stations across the country

The PM slapped down suggestions that key workers should be allowed to jump the queue to fill up, saying: “the best thing for everybody is that we stabilise it in the normal way”.

He resisted calls to expand the HGV licences for longer, saying it would help wages rise and stop cheap labour flooding into the country.

“I don’t think people in this country want to fix all our problems with unctrolled immigration, again.

“We tried that for a long time, 20 years… people could see that it was leading to a low wage, low skill approach without enough investment in people.

“That’s not the way we want the UK to develop and grow.”

It comes as…

Industry chiefs warned the frenzy is being fed by drivers posting details of deliveries to forecourts on social media, sparking a rush to the pumps.

Huge tailbacks were reported at 11pm, 3am, and 5.30am nationwide as the panic buying hysteria gripping the UK shows no sign of abating.

Today a senior Tory MP told the PM he must send troops in now to “return public confidence” and calm the public’s nerves.

The MoD has dispatched 150 soldiers to start tanker driver training in case the crisis doesn’t abate in the next few days.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re asking army tanker drivers to be ready to deploy.

“And extending licences for fuel transporters to keep on road. If everyone buys fuel as normal petrol stations will revert to normal service.”

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