Andrea Leadsom

Former minister Andrea Leadsom

Nearly 30 Tory MPs, including former ministers Priti Patel and Andrea Leadsom, have signed a letter to the chancellor calling for the introduction of a pump price watchdog.

In the letter, coordinated by Tory MP Jonathan Gullis and sent on December 22, he claimed that falls in wholesale prices between October 10 and December 8 were not being fully reflected by pump prices.

In the letter to Jeremy Hunt Andrea Leadsom said there should be a PumpWatch commissioner.

She had already intervened in the House of Commons on December 1 when during business questions she told the leader of the house: “It’s time for the government to debate FairFuelUK’s excellent idea for a new pump watch commissioner to monitor and stop bad practice on garage forecourts.”

Penny Mordaunt responded from the Despatch Box: “The government are looking into this, and I join her in commending the work of FairFuelUK, which has done a huge amount to champion the rights of motorists and to remind us that holding fuel duty, and cutting it where we can, is good for the economy.”

After the letter was sent Leadsom said: “I hope the government will look seriously at FairFuelUK’s proposal for a pump watch commissioner to make sure customers are paying a fair price at the pump, and that the chancellor will continue the welcome fuel duty freezes of the last decade.”

Gullis commented: “PumpWatch will be a popular antidote to inflationary pressure. It will cost the government very little to implement and simply involve a small team of analysts headed by the independent consumer fuel campaigning expert Howard Cox. PumpWatch is not complicated but its implementation could restore confidence in Britain’s appalling opaque fuel market.”

Craig Mackinlay MP, chair of the Fair Fuel all party parliamentary group, added: “Wholesale oil prices are way down from historic highs but the price at the pump has moved down by mere buttons. It is now even more obvious that motorists are being fleeced by the fuel retailers and it’s time for a ‘Pumpwatch’ price monitor to highlight the truth and bring such blatant profiteering to heel.”

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, claimed: “We should be seeing fuel price signposts across the country, 10-20ppl lower for diesel and petrol. What’s more, this surprisingly and increasingly anti-motorist Tory administration seems to be sitting back, dare I say it, almost encouraging the fuel supply chain to continue to fleece drivers at the pumps. Don’t forget the billions of extra VAT pouring into the Treasury due to eye-watering pump prices.”