Petrol fallout cripples Boris as he slumps against Starmer in new poll

Drone footage shows queues for petrol at Asda in Wigmore

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New research by Ipsos MORI found the Prime Minister’s popularity has plummeted as the country continues to struggle with fuel shortages, panic buying and rising petrol prices. Now, Mr Johnson is neck-and-neck with Sir Keir as a 37 percent preference for the premier.

This marks the first time a Labour leader has been on an even footing with a Tory since 2008.

The Prime Minister’s overall rating has plummeted from 47 percent in March.

Since August, support for the opposition party was up by six points while the Tories were down two points at just 39 percent.

The potentially alarming poll comes as the Prime Minister faces mounting pressure to “designate fuel stations for key workers”.

Petrol supply issues have sparked panic among Britons trying to stock up across the country, with queues outside refuelling stations.

A small number of petrol stations have been forced to close due to lack of supply, with others introducing restrictions.

While there’s not a shortage of petrol across the country, there is a lack of drivers to distribute fuel.

Union Unison has said key workers should not be left stranded or forced to queue for hours.

Christina McAnea, the union’s general secretary, said: “The Government has to take control.

“It’s no good ministers wasting time on a pointless blame game or pretending there’s no problem.

“Essential staff must be able to get to their jobs so they can continue to provide the services so many rely upon.

“Ambulance crews, nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, police staff and other key workers mustn’t be left stranded or forced to queue for hours simply to get to a pump.

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“The Government could solve this problem now by using emergency powers to designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers.”

Mr Johnson is set to relax immigration rules for European lorry drivers as large queues begin at petrol stations.

Up to 5,000 temporary visas for HGV drivers are expected to be granted under the plan, according to the Telegraph.

However, Mr Johnson’s plan to bring in 5,000 lorry drivers has been met with criticism with the head of an EU truck union saying drivers will “not go to the UK for a short term visa to help UK out of the s**t they created themselves.

Edwin Atema, who represents drivers across the EU and Europe said: “Before the coronavirus crisis and Brexit this industry was sick already.

“Plagued by expectation, by irresponsible multinationals who drag down prices, which ended up with drivers voting with their feet and leaving the industry.”

On Friday, EG Group – which is owned by the Issa brothers who own Asda – announced they were imposing a £30 limit at its 389 petrol stations.

Downing Street said on Friday night: “We have ample fuel stocks in this country, and the public should be reassured that there are no shortages.

“But, like countries around the world, we are suffering from a temporary Covid-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country.

“We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time-limited.

“We are moving to a high-wage, high-skilled economy and businesses will need to adapt, with more investment in recruitment and training to provide long-term resilience.”

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned if the crisis was not addressed within 10 days it could cause significant disruption at Christmas.

Andrew Opie, the director of food at the BRC, said: “Currently, the UK faces a shortfall of around 90,000 HGV drivers – and it is consumers who ultimately suffer the consequences.

“Unless a solution can be found in the next 10 days, it is inevitable that we will see significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas.”

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,008 GB adults 18+ by telephone September 17-23 2021.

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