Energy crisis has changed everything for Britain’s next prime minister

What is the energy price cap and what have the Tory leadership candidates said they'll do to tackle rising bills? Anushka Asthana explains

Torsten Bell - CEO of the Resolution Foundation - perhaps has the frankest response to the staggering increase in the energy price cap: "The world has changed on energy bills so policy will have to too."

He argued that politicians "can wake up to that reality now or later" but the response to this crisis will be different in policy terms by Christmas.

And it seems that almost everyone is starting to agree.

It's true that the most vocal demands for urgent action come from outside government: the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and SNP - and even some energy bosses - calling for the cap to be frozen.

But the plain-speaking can be heard in Downing street too - that the "pipeline of cash" already coming will now clearly have to be "augmented, increased, by extra cash that the government is plainly going to be announcing in September."

Still, the details aren't overwhelming from either of the leadership candidates. Rishi Sunak has made clear that he would go further than the current support package (already £30bn plus) put in place when he was chancellor.

At one point he said he would give more detail once he knew the latest price cap rise - but we don't have an overall figure yet. He has also promised to spend £4.3bn cutting VAT on energy bills for a year - that would save people on a typical bill £154.

He argues that is quite a difference to Liz Truss's approach which has focussed much more on tax cuts (which he argues help the better off more than the poorest) - and taking the £153 green levies off bills (though they will still have to be largely covered by general tax).

She says that reversing the national insurance rise will help people - and clearly it will for those who earn above the threshold for that tax - but many million of the poorest don't. So what will there be for them?

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When I saw Ms Truss yesterday she insisted she understood people were suffering and there would be urgent action - but she isn't giving more details now.

And she does want to stick to her mantra - that you don't take money off people in tax, just to return it in handouts. She's also argued against windfall taxes.

That could suggest a leaner support package for the poorest, but it's clear she will have to act, and in a significant way.

The issue for both candidates is that the amount needed to support people now is spiralling, with one think tank, the Institute for Government, talking about £110bn over this year and next to protect people from rising bills.

That blows a huge hole in any plans they might have previously had to spend more money.

And with another crisis coming down the track with hefty waiting lists and ambulance delays in the NHS, only likely to worsen as winter increases demand, it will be a very difficult start for whoever gets the keys to Number 10.