The boss of Asda has lashed out at Boris Johnson for being on holiday as Britain faces a “horrifying” inflation crisis that is “not about to go away”.
Tory peer Lord Stuart Rose claimed that “nobody is in charge at the moment”, as it emerged that inflation had hit a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent.
Rose also criticised Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak for not grasping the urgency of the situation, saying “inflation isn’t there waiting for us”.
Speaking to BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, he said: “We have been very, very slow in recognising this train coming down the tunnel and it’s now here, and it’s not only about to run us over, it’s run quite a lot of people over and we now have to deal with the aftermath of that.”
He added: “We’ve got to have some action. The captain of the ship is on shore leave, right, nobody’s in charge at the moment.
“It is now the middle of August, it will be soon September. We’re going to have an emergency budget, we are told.
“When is the actual effect of that budget going to take place? Are we going to wait till October, November, December? Inflation isn’t sitting there waiting for us.”
He continued: “What bothers me a little bit about the leadership election is that everybody is throwing money at everything and we can’t afford everything and we do need to go back to basic common-sense economics.”
‘Missing in action’
Johnson has been under fire for being “missing in action” during the crisis, with The Telegraph reporting that he intends to see out the final weeks of his premiership in his grace-and-favour Chequers pad.
The prime minister was spotted on holiday with wife Carrie in Greece following their honeymoon in Slovenia.
Former Cabinet minister Kit Malthouse defended the prime minister, saying he had not been “sitting on his hands”.
“In fact he has just called me while I am on this interview and I have been unable to take the call so I shall be calling him back shortly,” he told the BBC.
“I think he like all of us are very apprised of what is coming in the winter, what might be a difficult time for the country as we are being caught in this pincer manoeuvre of a Covid catch-up and an international inflationary and fuel and energy crisis.
“What we are trying to do across this summer is make sure that the whole of government is galvanised around doing whatever it can to co-ordinate and get the country through in as good a shape as possible.”