National Grid boss must tell us why the UK was reduced to the chaos of a tin-pot state by a huge power cut

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JOHN Pettigrew may not be a household name – not yet anyway.

Yet as the fat cat boss of the National Grid, he controls the electricity that powers our homes, not to mention vital enterprises such as trains and hospitals.

Times Newspapers Ltd

National Grid boss John Pettigrew, who earns £5m, is unavailable for questions after the chaos of Friday’s power cuts[/caption]

So when the system crashes and reduces Britain to the chaos of a tin-pot state, the public has a right to know why.

After all, Mr Pettigrew — who has spent his entire career at the utility giant — earned not far short of £5million in salary and perks last year.

The disgraceful outage that left tens of thousands of train passengers stranded for hours, thousands of homes blacked out and hospitals struggling to cope raises serious questions.

How can one of the world’s major economies be bought to its knees just because two separate sources of electricity fail in close succession?

One of the generators that crashed was a wind farm, on which we are putting such hopes for a sustainable future. And that was while the country was being lashed by gale-force winds that should have been generating shedloads of power.

The trouble is that we have been left, literally, in the dark. The man who should have his finger on the switch is apparently on holiday and unavailable for questions, while his underlings have been as useful as a dodgy fuse.

Given the size of his salary, the public deserves less heat and more light.

Power to the bobbies

BRITAIN’S hard-pressed cops need all the help they can get in their fight against the rising tide of violent crime.

So Priti Patel’s announcement today that she is extending their emergency stop and search powers is welcomed.

Britain’s bobbies have extra stop and search powers – finally the time has come for criminals, not citizens, to be running scared
Getty Images – Getty

The new Home Secretary says officers will now be able to use these powers more widely if they fear an outbreak of knife crime on their patch.

Hand-wringing liberals may moan, but such tough measures have proved effective against drug-fuelled gang wars that blight our cities. Last year there were 7,000 arrests for weapons as a result of such searches — potentially saving many lives.

Her uncompromising backing for the bobby on the beat is also to be applauded.

Last week’s sickening machete attack on an officer in East London is the latest grim reminder of the risks they take.


Only if officers feel they have support from the top will they feel confident to tackle thugs bringing havoc to our streets.

The public is sick and tired of those who put the so-called rights of offenders above the safety of their victims.

As Ms Patel says, it’s the criminals, not citizens, who should be running scared.

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