Shapps blames hauliers for sparking fuel chaos after ‘meeting leak’

GRANT Shapps has blamed truckers for fuel shortages while panic buying continues across the UK.

The Transport Secretary has now slammed the shortages as a “manufactured situation” which was created by a road haulage associated.

Out of use signs hang from fuel pumps at a Shell petrol station[/caption]
Motorists queue for petrol and diesel fuel at a petrol station off of the M3 motorway near Fleet, west of London[/caption]

Speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme, Mr Shapps said: “There was a meeting which took place about 10 days ago, a private meeting in which one of the haulage associations decided to leak the details to media.

‘That has created, as we have seen, quite a large degree of concern as people naturally react to those things.”

However Rod McKenzie, of the Road Haulage Association, has denied leaking details of the meeting.

He said: “The allegation against me is nonsense.

“I was not in the meeting. I was not briefed about the meeting afterwards. I certainly didn’t brief any journalists about the meeting about which I knew nothing.

“It is entirely without foundation.”

The Road Haulage Association estimates there is a shortage of about 100,000 HGV drivers, with the pandemic and Brexit exacerbating the problem.

It comes as colossal queues formed from early this morning as Brits ignored the government’s pleas not to panic.

Meanwhile drivers are set to be hit with a £30 limit on fuel after panic buyers queued at petrol stations across the country amid shortage fears.

Police have been forced to marshal motorists after they raced to forecourts to fill their tanks up.

And selfish drivers have started filling up jerry cans with fuel after queuing from the early hours of this morning.

Now ministers are urging nearly 40,000 retired haulier to return to work after retailers warned the Government it has less than two weeks to prepare for the festive season, reports Mail Online.

And the Prime Minister is set to personally sign a million letter to ask drivers who left the industry to get back on the UK’s roads.

Meanwhile Boris has agreed to temporarily loosen immigration rules so foreign HGV drivers can work in Britain to help with the crisis.

Over temporary foreign visas will be fast-tracked to solve the supply chain crisis that retailers are warning could ruin Christmas.

But No10 warns any measures introduced would be “very strictly time-limited”.

Motorists queue up for fuel at a BP petrol station in Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering

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