At the moment I do not see how it can be in any way acceptable that with energy prices rising broadly 4% in terms of costs that the price to the consumer should rise by the 9-10% that we are hearing.
I do not regard that as acceptable at all by the energy companies.
And it is not acceptable to me, it ought not to be acceptable to anyone, that many people are going to have to chose between keeping warm and eating. That is not acceptable.
So if we get this cold spell the government, I think, will have to intervene and if they do intervene, and it is costly, I for one would regard it as perfectly acceptable for them then, subsequently, to levy and excess profits tax on the energy companies and claw that money back to the Exchequer, where their primary job is to get the economy working and people back to work.
Downing Street has said the Government had "no plans" for a windfall tax of the type proposed by Sir John Major.
David Cameron's official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing: "The Prime Minister's view on this is that this is an interesting contribution. We have no plans for this."
"What the Government is doing is legislating around forcing energy companies to put customers on their lowest tariffs and more competition in energy markets."
Asked about Sir John's concerns about people having to choose between eating and heating this winter, he said:
"There are a number of initiatives that the Government has to support vulnerable people, such as the cold weather payments.
"We have a range of ways in which support is given and those are the right ones."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said former Prime Minister Sir John Major was making "Labour's argument" by calling for energy companies to face an excess profits tax.
Sir John Major makes Labour’s argument: David Cameron stands up for the energy companies not hard-pressed families.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has reportedly called for energy companies to pay an excess profits tax if the Government is forced to make winter fuel payments due to the rise in bills.
Bloomberg's political correspondent Kitty Donaldson wrote on Twitter:
John Major calls for an excess profits tax on energy companies if govt forced to make winter fuel payments
Margaret Thatcher's successor John Major and Foreign Secretary William Hague talk in St Paul's.
Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Sir John Major both claimed the maximum allowance in public duty costs in the last financial year.
Government figures show Gordon Brown was just a few pence short of the £115,000 limit.
The payment is to reimburse ex-PMs for continuing to fulfil public duties.
Labour leader Ed Miliband told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards that something went "very wrong" with the way some journalists dealt with individuals. He said police had "not investigated properly" and politicians had not spoken out.
There is clearly something which has gone very wrong with the way parts of the press dealt with individuals. A failure to get to grips with these issues ... by the press, the police, who did not investigate properly, and I think politicians, who were aware of some of what was going on and did not speak out.
Organisations like News International had huge power and I think politicians were reticent to speak about some of these practices that were exposed. I include myself in that."
Labour leader Ed Miliband is giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards. He was one of the people who called for the inquiry to be established in a last year in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
Miliband started his evidence by saying he recognised the important role the media plays in "holding politicians to account."
Just before the 1997 election it was suggested to me that I ought to have got closer to the Murdoch press...I invited him to dinner, in February 1997.
(The dinner) would have contained the usual amount of political gossip, then in the dinner, Mr Murdoch said that he really didn't like our European policies and he wished me to change our European policies, and if we didn't, then his papers could not and would not support this Government.
The former Prime Minister then told the Leveson Inquiry "there was no question of me changing our policies".