One of Boris Johnson’s ministers has tried to reassure jittery UK motorists by using three exclamation marks in a calming Twitter post.
The government has been battling to explain why petrol pumps have been closed at forecourts across the country as retailers ration their supply, leading to panic buying.
The driving force is the shortage of lorry drivers – caused by Brexit, meaning fewer Europeans are now employed in the UK, and Covid – and not an actual shortage of fuel.
Nonetheless, with BP, Esso and Tesco petrol forecourts impacted, some clear-eyed communications are needed – especially since there are growing concerns about running out of gas, energy and CO2, which could lead to the issues being conflated.
So Twitter users raised an eyebrow when James Cleverly, a foreign office minister, wrote: “There is no fuel shortage!!!”
It was the cavalier approach to punctuation that set alarm bells ringing.