A government minister has said of measures to help people with the deepening energy crisis: "Watch this space."

Minister for skills Andrea Jenykns was asked about the rise in the energy price cap when she visited Darlington College.

She said support measures had been prepared and "we are not going to leave people on hard times", but said she could not be more specific until the new Conservative leader and Prime Minister was chosen.

Ofgem has confirmed an 80.06% rise in the energy price cap, sending the average household’s yearly bill from £1,971 to £3,549 from October, affecting about 24 million households in England, Scotland and Wales.

Read more: Martin Lewis says people will die as energy price cap increases

Ms Jenkyns said on Friday (August 26): "I know for a fact, I've had conversations with Number 10 myself, that civil servants have been intensively working for months and months and especially the last few weeks.

"And there is a series of packages which is there ready to land on our new Prime Minister's desk, whichever one it will be.

"Watch this space. Look at the support we gave during the pandemic. We are not going to leave people on hard times.

"We realise how difficult it is right across the country and so watch this space, that's all I can say."

Read more: Energy price cap to rise more than 80% to £3,549 from October 1

Pressed for details, the Morley and Outwood MP said: "With respect, we find that next week we're going to have a new Prime Minister.

"The civil servants have prepared a series of support measures that the new leader, the new Prime Minister, can take, so they will be there on their desk on the first day of becoming Prime Minister.

"And it's up to them which route they choose. So the work has been done. Options have been prepared.

The Northern Echo: Skills minister Andrea Jenkyns during her visit to Darlington College. Picture Gareth Lightfoot.Skills minister Andrea Jenkyns during her visit to Darlington College. Picture Gareth Lightfoot.

"You might say it's being vague, I understand that, but how can you be more specific because we've got each different leadership candidate who has got different approaches.

"The civil servants have been working tremendously coming up with a series of different packages so it depends on the approach of the new Prime Minister, but there will be support packages to help people going forward. There will be support."

Asked whether this will be above and beyond what has already been announced, she replied: "Without a doubt I'm sure that our new Prime Minister will give more support.

"We've also seen some of the leadership candidates talk about lowering taxes as well. So watch this space.

Read more: Energy price cap - What is it and will I pay more?

"It's very hard to be specific until after next week, until we know who the Prime Minister is and which approach they're going to take."

She denied suggestions that the government seemed rudderless or that nothing was happening in government, saying: "Our Prime Minister's been across at Ukraine. Our Prime Minister's been up and down the country.

"I've been incredibly busy in my role during the parliamentary recess. So it's still been business as usual.

"Without a doubt ministers are still working, civil servants are still working, the Prime Minister's still working. It's still business as usual."

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