Protesters across UK urge government to pass rising energy prices on to providers

Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Protesters across the UK have urged the government to pass rising energy prices on to providers instead of low-earning workers.

Around 100 people, among them former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, waved signs reading “tax the rich” and “freeze energy bills, not people” at a Downing Street protest on Saturday.

Similar demonstrations were staged across the nation, including in Belfast where campaigners called for every household in Northern Ireland to receive £1,000 to help mitigate the increasing cost of fuel and food.

At Downing Street in central London, demonstrators made speeches asking for energy bills to be frozen and for benefits to be boosted.

Protesters in central London urge the government to help with the rising cost of energy. Credit: James Manning/PA

Protester Isabella Fula, 17, from north London, said the rising cost of living was “a huge problem for many people”.

Speaking near Downing Street, she said: “People aren’t earning enough to support themselves and buy food, or even pay for bills which are increasing by the minute.

“I’m here to protest the rent and the rise in it, and try to aim for a better tomorrow.”

This comes after Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said the government cannot “completely nullify” the impacts of global pressure on energy prices, but it will offer support where possible.

Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a Downing Street protest over the rising cost of living Credit: James Manning/PA

Mr Corbyn said this comment shows the government is “out of touch with the reality of people” facing poverty due to the rising cost of living.

He said: “I’m meeting people who are terrified of the next bill, so the very least we need is a price cap on energy, and then we need to say, well look at the profits of energy companies and look at the difficulties of people living.

“I was in a food bank this morning talking to people there that don’t want food that they have to cook, because they can’t afford to turn the gas and electricity on to cook it.

“This is the 21st century and we’re the fifth richest country in the world – it’s simply wrong and the government must intervene.”

At a protest in Cambridge, Peach Rose from the Cambridge Solidarity Fund told ITV News Anglia: "People are going to food banks and saying, 'I can’t have that because I can’t afford to cook it.''

"And that’s why we’re seeing more and more requests for food and for grants coming in because people really can’t afford the day to day necessities."

Further south, demonstrations were held in Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.

One protestor said the government's attempt to soften the crisis' blow is "just not enough".