A petition calling for a full and transparent inquiry into the oil pricing process was handed in at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) by Quentin Willson of FairFuelUK, Robert Halfon and other MPs from all parties last month.

The FairFuelUK petition contained more than 30,000 signatures from campaign supporters which were apparently collected in just five days. Halfon and Wilson were pictured outside the OFT offices protesting at what they describe as the Government’s surprising reluctance to act, despite the fact that regulators in Europe and America are investigating oil price manipulation. They unfurled a banner which spelled out their demands for an inquiry.

Willson, lead spokesman for FairFuelUK, said: "This is embarrassing. EU and US regulators have acted swiftly yet our regulators say everything in the world of oil prices is fine.

"There’s too much disquiet and whistle-blower testimony to leave the subject of oil price manipulation alone. Something needs to be done now."