STEPHEN Flynn has called out the Prime Minister for upgrading the energy grid around his mansion to heat his private pool – accusing him of “taking a leisurely dip” while planning to “leave households drowning in their energy bills”.

It comes after it was reported earlier this week that Tory PM Rishi Sunak had paid to have the local electricity network around his home in North Yorkshire improved in order to cope with the demands of his new private pool.

Flynn grilled Sunak on the scandal during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, ahead of the Spring Budget, which could see the Government end its policy of refunding all households on their energy bills.

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He said: “On Monday, as households in Scotland were awakening to freezing temperatures, they were met with the news that the electricity grid had been upgraded in order to meet the power demands of the Prime Minister’s new swimming pool.

“So may I ask him, was it while he was taking a leisurely dip that he decided to leave households drowning in their energy bills?”

Sunak responded: “Thanks to the actions of this Government, what we have provided is over £1300 to help families with their energy bills over the last year and I don’t want to pre-empt what the Chancellor is going to say later but this is a Government that is committed to continuing to help people with the cost of living and that’s what you’ll hear later on.”

But Flynn insisted the UK Government still was not doing enough to support struggling taxpayers.  

The SNP’s Westminster leader said: “You’ve got to wonder what planet he’s on…because for households in Scotland, energy prices haven’t been frozen at two and a half grand – the average bill in Scotland has been closer to £3500 and they’re tripling in just under two years.

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“But worse than that, the Chancellor is about to get to his feet and announce that the £400 energy rebate is about to be scrapped – for everyone, not just in Scotland but right across these isles.

“So is it not the case, the Tories aren’t freezing energy bills, they’re looking to freeze households?"

Sunak replied: “Actually, the Government is delivering for people across the United Kingdom. Energy bills have been our priority, which is why over £1,000 of support, which is benefiting households in every part of our country.

“But he talks about delivery, it’s now clear that we know because of the SNP that the trains don’t run on time, the police are at breaking point and the NHS in Scotland experience the longest-ever waiting list.

"That isn’t even my assessment. That’s what we learned in the SNP’s leadership debate last week.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) forecast, published in conjunction with the Budget, said living standards in Britain were expected to fall by 6% over the next financial year - the largest two-year fall since the 1950s. 

And the OBR said Britain was still suffering the effects of Brexit, saying UK imports and exports would be 15% lower than if the country had stayed in the EU, resulting in a predicted 4% reduction in the potential productivity of the British economy

The SNP's economy spokesperson Stewart Hosie said: "The UK Budget fails to make a dent in the cost of living crisis - with Tory cuts leaving people hundreds of pounds worse off, and Brexit costing our economy billions in long-term damage.

"The Chancellor should have chosen to help families by cutting energy bills, raising public sector pay with inflation and introducing a real living wage. Instead, he has chosen to make people poorer - withdrawing vital support and imposing real-terms cuts to incomes.

"With the pro-cuts, pro-Brexit Labour Party failing to provide any meaningful opposition, it's clear Scotland will continue to pay a high price under Westminster control - and independence is the only way for Scotland to build a strong, fair and prosperous future."

The Guardian reported earlier this week that the electricity grid around Sunak's £1.5 million mansion in Richmond, Yorkshire, was upgraded at the Prime Minister's expense - reportedly running up a bill of "tens of thousands of pounds".