Security Minister Denies Kwasi Kwarteng Is 'Telling Porkies' In Westminster Row With Treasury

Damian Hinds blamed "unnamed sources" for alleging the business secretary was lying.
Damian Hinds (R) defended Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday
Damian Hinds (R) defended Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday

Damian Hinds denied that Kwasi Kwarteng has been “telling porkies” on Monday despite recent allegations against the business secretary from the Treasury.

A row has emerged after Kwarteng alleged that he was “working very closely” with chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Treasury over supporting the energy industry over the global gas shortage.

Shortly after, a Treasury source told Sky: “This is not the first time the business, energy and industry secretary has made things up in interviews.

“To be crystal clear the Treasury are not involved in any talks.”

Sky’s Kay Burley put it to the border minister Hinds that Kwarteng might have been “telling porkies” when he said talks were going ahead.

Hinds replied: “No, of course not.”

Hinds was approached about the same topic later on LBC, and he repeated: “I don’t think he [Kwarteng] is making things up.”

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari said: “So Rishi Sunak’s lying?”

Hinds replied: “Hang on – government ministers are in contact with each other the whole time, that’s how government works.

″Clearly this is a serious situation with the rising global price of gas.

“Of course the business secretary, the energy secretary, is going to be totally focused on the impact of that on industry, particularly industry-intensive industry.

“Equally the Treasury is going to be focused on the impacts on the economy.”

He added: “This is one of those ‘unnamed sources’ stories that comes out from time [to time].

“I don’t know what that particular conversation was because neither you nor I was in it.”

Ferrari said: “Pretty embarrassing though, isn’t it?”

Hinds maintained that Kwarteng is in “further talks in industry and will be today on these issues and that’s quite right”.

On Good Morning Britain, Richard Madeley also put it to Hinds that “we just don’t know who to believe” in this Westminster row.

Hinds again suggested that “unnamed sources” should not be believed over the government minister and said: “I don’t know who that source was, and I don’t know why – but the important thing is working together with business.”

Hinds also told BBC Breakfast “I can’t go into it” when discussing what conversations might have been had between Kwarteng and the Treasury.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband claimed that the row itself shows ” the government is squabbling amongst itself”.

He added: “It is becoming clearer by the day that the Government that got us into this mess because of a decade of inaction is now paralysed by the scale of the crisis and cannot get us out of it.

“All the while, it is businesses and families who are paying the price of government denial, failure and an appalling refusal to understand what our country is facing.”