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Susanna Reid slams 'crackers' government over fuel crisis and asks 'where are they?' as ministers refuse to appear on TV

SUSANNA Reid slammed the government over the fuel crisis this morning – and asked "where are they?" as ministers refused to appear on TV.

The Good Morning Britain host said it was "crackers" that no senior official will appear on the programme today amid chaotic scenes at the pumps.

It comes as soldiers prepare to man tankers to refuel petrol stations as thousands of Brits panic buy.

Fights have broken out on forecourts and it's claimed up to 90 per cent of pumps have run dry.

But despite the unfolding disaster, not one top Tory will be interviewed on the morning shows, Susanna said.

"We do not have a minister on the programme, despite the fact there is shortage of petrol on forecourts," she said.

Her co-star Alastair Campbell said "people are waking up" to discover "the army will be called in to drive trucks."

"Everyone is worried about running out of food," Susanna added.

"We don't want to cause panic, but frankly people are concerned right now as there's a massive shortage of HGV drivers."

The pair condemned the decision as "extraordinary".

"Where is the government? Why aren't they here today?" Susanna said.

"It does seem crackers that you have a morning like this, after a weekend of people queueing for hours, in some cases, to get fuel.

"I know there's a lot of blame on individuals – 'Stop panic buying, stop filling up' – but people have got to drive and if they get the sense they're the ones at the back of the queue you can't blame them for trying to get in early."

The presenters spoke of their fury as it emerged that the army could be drafted in to help drive 80 fuel tankers to stations if the Prime Minister signs off on Operation Escalin today.

It could see "several hundred soldiers" operate the HGVs in a bid to replenish pumps.

 It comes as…

  • Petrol supplies have been plundered with industry figures revealing 85% of stations have run out of fuel
  • Brawls have broken out across forecourts – including dramatic scenes between moped drivers
  • Competition laws have been suspended in an attempt to curb panic buying
  • The UK’s second-biggest oil refinery faces collapse over a £223million VAT payment
  • An ambulance crashed into traffic waiting for petrol while rushing to an emergency
  • Grant Shapps blamed hauliers for the chaotic scenes
  • A list of petrol stations with fuel can be seen here

However, the huge campaign might only begin up to 10 days after it's given the green light.

This means it's feared the petrol crisis will last at least a week. The PM is set to hold an emergency meeting today.

Boris will likely offer up the government's reserve fleet of petrol tankers too so the country can get back on track.

The proposal is under "active consideration", a government source told The Telegraph.

Downing Street last night maintained no decisions have yet been made to deploy the military, with the Ministry of Defence confirming no official request had been made.

Despite that, a Whitehall insider has confirmed to Playbook that Boris is looking at the plan seriously.

The source warned the soldiers must still be trained – which could take some time.


They added the caveat that the rush to buy fuel may still calm down within the next 24 hours.

"We are hoping that this will settle down because after a while people can’t store petrol in any meaningful way once their car is full," a senior government source also told The Times.

"There’s no issue with the supply itself; it’s a question of getting it to the pumps.

"But it’s better to act now and stand up the army rather than wait until later. It’s a no brainer."

However, there may yet be trouble before the situation returns to normal.

According to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents the majority of fuelling stations in Britain, it is estimated that up to 90 per cent have run dry.

Petrol-starved drivers have been urged to stay calm as millions head back to work on Monday morning – but the weekend's queues suggest the mayhem isn't over yet.

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