Thousands of protesters assembled at demonstrations across the UK on Saturday to demand the government pass the soaring cost of energy onto providers instead of low-income workers.
A Downing Street protest today saw around 100 people, including former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, waving signs reading “tax the rich” and “freeze energy bills, not people.”
Londoners joined protesters up and down the nation, as people took to the streets in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Hanley, Hull, Ipswich, Lancaster, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes , Newcastle, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Preston, Redcar, Sheffield and Southampton.
Notably in Belfast, activists were demanding that every household in Northern Ireland receive £1,000 to help mitigate the rising cost of fuel and food.
Outside the prime minister’s residence in Whitehall, meanwhile, campaigners made speeches calling on the government to freeze energy bills and to boost benefits.
One 17-year-old protestor from north London said the rising cost of living was “a huge problem for many people”.
Speaking near No 10, Isabella Fula said: “A lot of people that I know are suffering from it personally, and a lot of people that once lived in my area have now moved out due to raising rent and energy bills.
“People aren’t earning enough to support themselves and buy food, or even pay for bills which are increasing by the minute.
“I’m here to protest the rent and the rise in it, and try to aim for a better tomorrow.”
It comes after a Cabinet minister earlier said it was not possible to “completely nullify” the pressures on energy prices.
But Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis said the government is “looking… across the board at what we’re doing with the public’s money”, and will “put in the support that we can, as and when we can” to ease the sting of rising prices.
speaking to SkyNewsMr Lewis added: “I know, even this week, where I live we’re on oil-fired heating, I’ve seen that change directly in the price of oil – and actually the ability to get it.
“At home, my family went a few days where we had no oil, just waiting for the suppliers and seeing the very big increase in price on that.
“We can’t completely nullify the impacts of the global markets and global pressure, for example, on energy, which is obviously the main focus at the moment for most people.
“But we will put in the support that we can, as and when we can, as I say, looking… across the board at what we’re doing with the public’s money.”
In response to Mr Lewis’ remarks, the now independent MP Mr Corbyn said it shows the government is “out of touch with the reality of people” facing poverty due to the rising cost of living.
He told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a very out of touch statement from a Government which is pretty out of touch which the reality of people as well.
“I’m meeting people who are terrified of the next bill, so the very least we need is a price cap on energy, and then we need to say, well look at the profits of energy companies and look at the difficulties of people living .
“I was in a food bank this morning talking to people there that don’t want food that they have to cook, because they can’t afford to turn the gas and electricity on to cook it.
“This is the 21st century and we’re the fifth richest country in the world – it’s simply wrong and the government must intervene.”