The chairman of the PRA has warned the crisis in Iraq will lead to fuel price rises and has slammed motoring organisations for suggesting he is scaremongering.

Interviewed on BBC Breakfast yesterday, Brian Madderson told Steph McGovern that the price of Brent crude had hit a nine-month high of more than $115 a barrel and the wholesale cost to UK retailers had increased by nearly 3ppl for both petrol and diesel in June.

He pointed out that average pump prices for petrol recorded by Catalist had remained constant during June, with diesel sliding by about 2.5ppl over the same period, so the market would have to reflect the cost price increase over the next couple of weeks, and he said supermarkets had already raised their prices this week.

However, the AA in its June Fuel Price report suggested that there was no need for prices to rise because of gains by sterling against the dollar.

Madderson said: “For motoring organisations to suggest to the BBC that PRA is scaremongering to warn of impending pump increases shows a complete lack of understanding of the UK price dynamics for road fuels. They should stick to vehicle breakdowns.”