Boris Johnson was 77 and his cost-of-living woes left him in a bind. His response surprised everyone, as it turned out. 

In a difficult interview yesterday on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the PM was challenged by Susanna to give Elsie as an example.

The pensioner’s energy costs in her council flat have risen from £17 to £85 a month, and Reid told the premier that she now ‘uses her freedom bus pass to stay on buses all day to avoid using energy at home’. 

Johnson had an extraordinary response. He claimed that Elsie had used the complimentary bus pass he got, even though the benefit had actually been in place years earlier than Johnson was London Mayor.    

Ms Reid stated that Elsie was disappointed by the comments he made during her conversation with Andrew Marr at LBC.

“Because she said there are people worse off than her, and she didn’t have an answer except ‘oh, I was the one responsible for the bus pass’, I think she meant, as though she was supposed to be thankful.

Meanwhile, Environment Secretary George Eustice said in a round of interviews this morning that Elsie should be asking for money from her local council rather than riding buses.

Sky News’s He said, “Well, my advice is that, you know…not to sit on a bus all day in order to try to stay warm.”

“I would advise you to get some help from your local authorities.”

In an attempt to reduce the costs of living, Mr Eustice sparked controversy by suggesting that consumers should purchase more value-brands. 

Boris Johnson faced an uncomfortable grilling on Good Morning Britain about the cost-of-living crisis facing Britons

Boris Johnson was uncomfortable being grilled on Good Morning Britain by Good Morning Britain regarding the crisis in cost-of living.

Susanna Reid

Presenter Susanna Reid raised the plight of Elsie, whose energy costs in her council flat have risen from £17 to £85 a month.

Presenter Susanna Reid raised the plight of Elsie, whose energy costs in her council flat have risen from £17 to £85 a month.

In the No10 interview, Susanna Reid told how Elsie leaves home early and rides buses using a freedom pass, which allows the over-60s on London unlimited travel, in order to not have to heat her flat.

Susanna Reid spoke out about Elsie’s departure from home and how she rides the buses on a freedom pass. It allows over-60s to travel unlimited in London, so that her house is not heated.

Boris and Susanna clash in Elsie 

Susanna Reid: Elsie is a widow. She is a retired pensioner living in a local council house. She receives a pension of £170 a week, her energy bills have gone, get this, from £17 a month to £85 a month. She will pay an additional £816 a year. 

Elsie is now 77 years old and has decided to eat one meal each day as a way of cutting down on expenses. She’s losing weight. After shopping at the grocery, which is yellow-stickered at a discount price, Elsie gets up at 5 am to go to bus station to get her free freedom pass. She can stay on the buses for the entire day and save energy by not going home. Your opinion on what Elsie should cut back?

Boris Johnson says: “I don’t want Elsie’s to cut back on any, let’s discuss Elsie’s and our current activities and – just so you know that the 24-hour free bus pass was actually something I introduced …’

Reid: “So Elsie should thank you for her bus ticket? She should cut down on other things.

Johnson: “There are many other things that we do. We want to make certain that people in special hardship are looked after by their local councils. This is why we’re putting more money into the local councils. We have special payments for elderly persons, in particular to cover heating costs.

During his toe-curling GMB interview yesterday, Mr Johnson was asked what Elsie should cut back on.

“I don’t want Elsie’s spending to be cut, so let’s discuss Elsie’s activities and remind everyone that Elsie was the one who introduced the 24-hour bus freedom pass.

“So Elsie should be thankful to you for her Bus Pass?” Is there anything else she should cut? Ms Reid responded.

Johnson said that there are many more things we can do. We want to make certain that people in special hardship are looked after by their local councils. This is why we’re putting more money into the local councils. There are special payments that can be made for elderly people to cover heating expenses. 

Johnson claims that he introduced the freedom pass. Although it was introduced in 1973, Johnson did increase its use to 24 hours per day during his time as mayor. It was however banned from use before 9.30am due to TfL budget restrictions caused by pandemic. 

He also acknowledged that inflation could reach 10% this year. This would put additional stress on the families. 

And right at the end he left viewers in hysterics after admitting he didn’t know who Lorraine Kelly is ahead of her programme. After being grilled on the partygate and cost-of living crisis, the 57 year-old tried to persuade viewers to vote Conservative. But Susanna interrupted the conversation by explaining that Lorraine has to finish the debate in the allotted time.

‘Who’s Lorraine?’ Johnson Boris asked.

The PM insisted the Government is doing ‘everything we can’ to help with the cost-of-living crisis, but warned that increasing state support beyond its current levels could drive inflation even higher.

A ‘global environment’ is being created by the rise in energy prices, which has a negative impact on all sectors of society, including food. He added: “The price of chickens are crazy.”

Johnson stated that energy is a problem because the country has not done enough to ensure its own energy security.

He also disassociated himself from comments made by Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of India last week that suggested the Government might ‘look again” at an energy tax windfall. 

Labour and the Lib Dems both want a one-off levy to tax huge profits that firms make while families are struggling with their expenses.

Mr Johnson warned that a windfall tax on energy companies would deter investment, and set out why taxpayer support for households has to be managed to avoid fuelling inflation.

 ‘If you put a windfall tax on the energy companies, what that means is that you discourage them from making the investments that we want to see that will, in the end, keep energy price prices lower for everybody,’ he said.

Asked what else Elsie should cut back on, Mr Johnson said: 'I don't want Elsie to cut back on anything, let's talk about Elsie and what we are doing and - just to remind you that the 24-hour freedom bus pass was something that I actually introduced.'

When asked what Elsie could cut back on in the future, Johnson replied: “I don’t think Elsie can cut back on any other things, but let’s discuss Elsie and our current activities and remind you, that my 24-hour bus freedom pass was actually something I introduced.”