Bad News for Cameron and Brown - We're Not So Keen on Either of You Bad News for Cameron and Brown - We're Not So Keen on Either of You

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Byline: JOE MURPHY

Hot topic: Cameron and Ken Clarke at Phoenix High School in Shepherd's Bush today MILLIONS of households in London and the South East are to be hit with yet another rise in energy prices.

It is the 14th round of gas and electricity price rises in a year.

Scottish & Southern Energy said today it was increasing gas prices by 12.2 per cent and electricity prices by 9.4 per cent.

The hike comes despite moves by the industry to import and store more gas for the winter, and falls of about 14 per cent in the price of wholesale winter electricity on City trading floors.

"This increase is as inevitable as it is lamentable," said Allan Asher, chief executive of consumer group Energywatch.

Household bills for consumers have already doubled in three years to average more than [pounds sterling]1000 a year. And this Sunday, six million customers of another firm, npower, will see a 17 per cent rise in gas prices.

Scottish & Southern said it would put up bills for its 6.7 million customers from 1 January, saying it was paying the price for undercutting rivals.

Director Alistair Phillips-Davies said: "It is well-known we ... have passed on to customers far less than the full extent of the increase in wholesale energy prices."

However it has already increased prices this year: with rises of 12 to 14 per cent for gas and electricity in January, and up to 19 per cent for gas in May.

But even after today Scottish & Southern remains [pounds sterling]150 a year cheaper than the market leader DAVID CAMERONand Gordon Brown both suffered setbacks in a poll today.

It said only 35 per cent think the Tory leader would make a better Prime Minister than Labour's Chancellor.

But asked if Mr Brown had done enough to show at the Labour conference that "he has what it takes to be PM", only 36 per cent agreed while 48 per cent disagreed.

The findings of the Populus survey for the Daily Politics show come on the eve of Mr Cameron's first conference as Conservative leader and suggest both men still need to command public support.

The Tories today revealed details of a new look to their conference - but admitted that they do not plan to unveil any fresh policies. …