BORIS Johnson’s government has caused “unimaginable suffering” by holding back a new financial support package to draw attention away from the Sue Gray partygate report, an SNP MP has claimed.

Kirsty Blackman accused the Tory administration of delaying the announcement on new measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis so that they would immediately follow the publication of the damning investigation into rule-breaking in Downing Street.

The Chancellor is set to announce a £10 billion package on Thursday in a bid to mitigate soaring energy bills, food prices and fuel costs. The measures are expected to include a windfall tax on energy giants, a move which Tory ministers have long resisted.

SNP Westminster frontbencher Kirsty Blackman told Good Morning Scotland: "They could have made this announcement, but they chose not to.

"They chose to keep it for this week and they have caused unimaginable, unimaginable pain and suffering as a result.

"The fact that they have held this back, they have had so many people living in utter terror about how they're going to get through the next few months.

"They've held it back so that they can make the announcement in the wake of the Sue Gray report, so they can try and say, 'look, we're doing everything that we can'."

Boris Johnson's government insists it's taking action now due to a warning about a rise in energy billsSNP MP Kirsty Blackman accused the Tory government of a cynical ploy

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However, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster insisted the decision to unveil new measures on Thursday is due to Ofgem’s price cap warning rather than as a distraction from the Sue Gray report.

Last week, Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley indicated that energy bills will increase by a further £830 to £2800 in October.

Tory minister Steve Barclay told Sky News: “In terms of the timing, firstly we don’t control the timing of the Sue Gray report. The timing of that is shaped by the Met Police investigation.

“What we’ve always said is, in terms of the fiscal response, we wanted to see from the Ofgem guidance what the full impact would be in the autumn on families so that we can get the design of that package right.

“We’ve had that guidance this week from Ofgem. That is why the Chancellor is coming forward today. It’s also in terms of Parliament and the parliamentary timetable.”

The Gray report identified a boozy culture of blatant Covid rule-breaking in Downing Street and Whitehall, with the Prime Minister encouraging and participating in events.