BBC Breakfast Charlie Stayt and deputy prime minister Dominic Raab came to blows on Friday’s edition of the programme over a tense row on petrol costs.
This week, it was reported that inflation had hit a 40-year high amid the cost of living crisis, as millions of households across the nation cope with soaring energy bills.
Recent figures have shown a jump in petrol and diesel prices, with the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reaching 167.6p this week.
On Friday’s BBC Breakfast, Mr Stayt welcomed Mr Raab onto the show, when he asked the politician to share the highest price for diesel or petrol he’s seen on his travels.
The politician admitted he wasn’t sure as he’d recently switched from diesel to unleaded, adding that the last time he went to the pumps, the price for a litre of unleaded was 165p.
‘It has gone up more since that. I’m not trying to catch you out on this, just trying to gist of it,’ Mr Stayt responded.
Mr Raab interrupted the presenter, saying that he was providing information based on his personal experience of filling up petrol a week ago.
The conversation began to heat up, as Mr Stayt replied: ‘You’ll know very well Dominic Raab that what’s happening in the real world is that people are trying to deal with things and those pump prices, they go up by the day.’
Once again, Mr Raab interrupted, this time putting himself in the interviewer’s seat as he asked: ‘Charlie, you tell me. What’s a litre of unleaded today?’
After hearing Mr Stayt say that the highest price he’d recently seen at a service station on the M6 for 199p for diesel, the justice secretary added: ‘Yes but what I’m asking, I said – again, I’m just checking how in touch you are. Because last time I filled up it was £1.65, £1.67, what’s the last litre unleaded?’
Having tried to interject, it was mentioned that the price for unleaded had recently been spotted at 168p, close to what the deputy prime minister had predicted.
Nonetheless, the BBC Breakfast presenter pointed out that he wasn’t ‘the one who needs to be making decisions that will affect people’s lives’, as he continued: ‘Which is why there is a justification in asking you and your government about the things you’re doing. That’s the only reason I ask those questions.’
Mr Raab retorted: ‘Charlie, I was just making the point that I was actually right about the cost of a litre of unleaded, so your pitch that we’re all out of touch actually, I do understand how difficult this is which is why we cut fuel duty by 5p along with all of the other measures that we’ve taken.’
However, Mr Stayt took umbrage at the notion that he had called his guest ‘out of touch’, clarifying: ‘I had not accused you of – to be absolutely clear – in this interview I did not say you are out of touch. I’m just trying to get a handle on prices.’
‘That’s what you’re going for Charlie, come on,’ the politician replied with a smile.
‘I think everybody would understand that and appreciate that. But these things really matter, the staples in people’s lives matter, the cost of bread, the cost of milk. These are the things that we understand, your viewers, our constituents, we care about.’
BBC Breakfast airs every day from 6am on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.