THE Treasury has denied being in talks with the Business Secretary over energy crisis support for struggling firms.

Kwasi Kwarteng claimed he was speaking to colleagues in the Treasury over potential support for the industry on Sunday.

However, the government finance department flatly denied that this was the case, slashing hopes that energy manufacturers and companies will receive any packages of support.

A senior Treasury source told the PA news agency that no talks have taken place, despite firms pleading for assistance to prevent further collapses as wholesale gas prices spiral.

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It comes as SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused the UK Government of reimposing Thatcherite policies on Scotland after Tory ministers refused to give support to businesses amid the energy crisis.

Kwarteng said he is certain that the lights will stay on in the UK this winter as businesses warned they may have to reduce working hours to sustain themselves and the Energy UK industry body warned that more suppliers will collapse.

The minister guaranteed he will keep the energy price cap for consumers in place throughout the winter but said he will not “bail out failing energy suppliers”.

Asked if he has approached the Treasury about subsidies, he told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “No, I haven’t. We’ve already got subsidies in place and it’s very clear that a lot of those are working.”

The National:

Kwarteng (pictured) said he could not yet determine whether a price cap will be introduced for businesses but added that there have been discussions over “what the nature of that support might be”.

He added that “of course I’m speaking to Government colleagues, particularly in the Treasury, to try and see a way through this”.

Kwarteng acknowledged it is a “critical situation” but denied he has asked for billions of pounds worth of support when asked whether he is considering a price cap for businesses or a winter package.

He told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve not asked for billions, we’ve got existing schemes. I’m working very closely with Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, to get us through this situation.”

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But it was heavily disputed whether the Chancellor or his department have been involved in any talks.

A senior Treasury source bluntly told PA: “The Treasury has not been involved in talks.”

With Boris Johnson having gone on holiday, Labour accused the Government of having “put its out of office on” while “in the teeth of a crisis of its own making”.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson said: “The Prime Minister has gone on holiday, no one knows where the Chancellor is, and this morning we understand the Business Secretary has entered the realms of fantasy.”

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck warned that “exposed” businesses such as energy-intensive users and retailers will be the worst hit.

The National:

The Treasury, headed by Rishi Sunak (above), has denied talks with Kwaseng's department over support for firms

She said: “We are expecting more retailers to go out of business this winter.

“The issue is how many are failing at once and whether or not our mechanisms, which are in place to look after customers when that happens, are up for that many failures in one go.”

We previously told how the Scottish Greens said the energy crisis is an “excellent example” of why Scotland needs independence.

And, the head of Ofgem has said there is no end in sight to the energy crisis as household bills are set to soar further.

The UK Government have already been told by industry leaders that rising energy costs need to be tackled “right now” amid fears over a difficult winter.