Aaaargh! Angela Knight is back, still defending the indefensible
The woman who stood up for bankers' bonuses is now arguing the case for the energy companies
AFTER spending years defending the indefensible on behalf of bankers, the former Tory MP Angela Knight was at it again this morning – this time on behalf of the profiteering energy companies.
Knight became almost a hate figure as the smiling - some would say complacent - face of the banking industry after she took over as chief executive of the British Bankers Association in 2007.
As such, she become the spokeswoman for City bankers during the greatest crisis of confidence in banking since the Great Crash. Defending the bankers' outrageous bonuses after crashing their own banks into brick walls was her forte.
In August this year, the former Tory MP – she lost her Erewash seat in 1997 when Tony Blair came to power - effortlessly moved on to her new job as chief executive of Energy UK. This is the umbrella body for the gas and electricity companies who are currently ripping off the public with inflation-busting price increases, despite racking up huge profits.
David Cameron - a snotty-nosed ministerial bag-carrier when Knight was an MP - hatched a plan a few weeks ago to force the energy companies to put their customers on the lowest suitable tariff, without householders having to do the research themselves.
Later today Lib Dem Energy Minister Ed Davey is due to tell the Commons in a statement how he intends to fulfill this brave - if not barmy - promise. All the hints suggest it will limit the number of special tariffs to about four, thus reducing the average tariffs but actually robbing some of the cleverer customers of their big discounts.
Step forward Angela Knight. She went into battle on the Today programme this morning to warn that the government's proposals could mean the end of some of the cheap deals currently on offer.
"If that is what the government wants, that is fine," she said. "What it will do is potentially remove some choice away from people and certainly some deals that people get at the moment."
She went on: "Certainly it is the case that if you have restrictions and constraints, then you can't offer everything and you can't offer the variety of choice that you get at the moment."
Tory boy Andrew Pierce denounced Knight his Daily Mail column yesterday as the "Queen of the Indefensible". The Mole thinks he will have to grind his teeth and learn to live with it. Mrs Knight is going to be on our screens and radios a lot more in the coming weeks. ·