Labour has appeared to call for a German-style energy rationing plan to avoid shortages if Russia cuts off gas supplies to Europe.
Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, suggested he supported a scheme like that announced by German ministers last week, which could mean households and hospitals are prioritised over heavy industry.
“We should be making those plans and the Government should be preparing, not necessarily in public, for that situation,” Mr Reynolds told the BBC. “There’s a lot of complacency in this country about the relative lower exposure to Russian gas that we have.”
The idea was ruled out by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, who said it was “not the route that we want to go down”.
Sources at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the UK faced “a price issue, not a supply issue” and rationing would not be introduced in Britain.
Robert Habeck, the German energy minister, has suggested such a scheme may be needed in Europe if Russia ends its supply of gas to Germany and other states in retaliation for sanctions introduced after its invasion of Ukraine.