Crisis or no crisis is army on standby to deal with fuel shortages?

The UK is gripped by a shortage of HGV drivers (Image: GETTY)

Flip flopping on fuel crisis now the army will be used. Ministers are delivering conflicting messages.

Environment Secretary George Eustice earlier this week announced that the UK Government has “no plans at the moment” to use the Army to drive petrol tankers amid continuing shortages at filling stations.

However, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says Soldiers will be delivering fuel in the next couple of days in a bid to ease petrol supply issues, the business secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng admitted the past few days – which have seen long queues outside petrol stations and some pumps running dry – had been “difficult”.

However, he denied there was a crisis in UK fuel supplies and said the situation was “stabilising”.Some 150 military drivers are ready to drive the fuel tankers.

The government had put the Army on standby in case the fuel situation worsened, but on Wednesday morning Mr Kwarteng revealed that ministers had decided to deploy troops to drive tankers “in the next couple of days”.

On Tuesday, speaking for the first time since issues began at filling stations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sought to reassure drivers about supplies, saying that people should be “confident” to go about their business.