UK Politics

Conservative MPs 'mobilising' against Budget fuel duty rise

Petrol pump Image copyright PA

Conservative MPs are "mobilising" to campaign against any rise in fuel duty, the BBC has been told.

Some are worried the chancellor could announce a rise in next week's Budget.

A Treasury minister is to meet fuel campaigners, including the Tory MP Jason McCartney, on Tuesday.

Mr McCartney said he was very concerned and would be urging colleagues to lobby Treasury ministers and officials and is to email every MP warning a rise is rumoured and seeking their opinions.

"We'll be mobilising all the supporters of the Fair Fuel group in Parliament this week," he said.

Treasury minister Damian Hinds is to meet McCartney and representatives from the Fair Fuel UK Campaign at noon on Tuesday.

Another Conservative MP said any rise in duty would be outrageous.

A Sunday Times report that an unnamed minister had said people would hardly notice an extra 2p on petrol has alarmed some backbenchers.

Mr McCartney said: "Me and my Conservative colleagues will really be making the case as strongly as we can this week to Treasury ministers and Treasury officials that we need to continue this good work that we've done."

A Treasury source said reports of a possible rise were speculative.

In an interview with the BBC last month Chancellor George Osborne declined to rule out a rise in fuel duty, but added there was a clear commitment in the Conservative manifesto to help working people.