Jeremy Hunt says ‘forced’ approach to herd immunity has hampered UK response to Covid

NSA senior minister said today that the problems of energy-intensive companies hit by price hikes will depend on factors such as whether they have recently paid out big bonuses.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is now considering a rescue plan that will see massive loans made to help troubled businesses weather the coming winter. It comes after Kwasi Quarting, the business minister, made a formal offer of support amid the tensions between the two administrations.

In an effort to end the briefing war, Downing Street put its weight behind the business secretary yesterday, paving the way for loans and other types of support to be granted in the coming days.

This morning, Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay told Radio Times that there would be specific terms for any company getting bailouts, although expectations were for it to go to shareholders and owners first.

“It’s right from a taxpayer’s point of view, since we’re aware of this huge amount of support, to look at that in terms of value for money,” he said.

“We need to take a look at the companies themselves – have they recently been paying dividends, have they recently paid out big bonuses?” Asked. “We need to understand the details rather than just get a quick response.”

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