A KEIGHLEY housing boss says the Government must act now to protect the most vulnerable in society from soaring energy bills.

Lee Bloomfield, chief executive of Manningham Housing Association, was speaking in the wake of regulator Ofgem hiking the price cap on household energy bills by 80 per cent – meaning the typical gas and electricity bill will rise to £3,549 a year from October.

Ofgem said the next prime minister would need to act "urgently and decisively" to address surging energy prices.

But Mr Bloomfield says the country cannot afford to wait.

Manningham Housing Association manages more than 1,400 homes, for over 6,000 residents, in Keighley and Bradford.

"The cost-of-living crisis is already causing deep anxiety for people on the lowest incomes and this price cap rise will significantly increase that grave sense of worry," said Mr Bloomfield.

"The country cannot afford to wait for a new prime minister to take office and ease themselves into the job before deciding what remedial action may be taken.

"It is critically important that the most vulnerable people in society, including many housing association tenants, are given an urgent guarantee that they will not be exposed to these catastrophic energy price rises."