“Cummings was pushing Sajid to put up fuel duty, so the PM will look good for the climate conference we’re hosting.”
Britain’s 37million drivers could face the first fuel duty rise in a decade next month. They may be targeted in the Budget as Boris Johnson’s all- powerful adviser Dominic Cummings eyes up a £4billion spending pot.
He wants to end the fuel duty freeze, which has been in place since 2010 and saves drivers about £1.50 every time they fill up.
The tax will probably go up by the rate of inflation, putting 2p on a litre of fuel.
However, the rise might be delayed until next year.
Mr Cummings wants to use fuel tax to fund the PM’s promised spending on infrastructure outside the capital, Treasury sources say.
Some in No10 believe it will also boost the Tories’ reputation on the environment.
Fuel duty was frozen thanks to The Sun’s long-running Keep it Down campaign. It was one of the issues on which Mr Cummings and Sajid Javid disagreed before the latter quit as Chancellor last week.
A Treasury official said: “Cummings was pushing Sajid to put up fuel duty, so the PM will look good for the climate conference we’re hosting.”
But Mr Javid’s replacement, Rishi Sunak, is a No10 loyalist and thought unlikely to block any attempt to end the freeze on March 11.
During the election, Mr Johnson told The Sun he had “absolutely no intention” of raising fuel duty.
But allies of Mr Johnson and the new Chancellor refused to rule it out yesterday. One said: “Rishi is still getting his feet under the desk. There have been no decisions yet.”
Experts say a five-year freeze will cost the Government about £4billion a year.
But Tory MP Robert Halfon told The Sun: “This war on motorists has got to stop.”
And Howard Cox, of the FairFuel campaign, said ministers should be trying to cut fuel duty and that any rise would be “devastating to hard-pressed motorists”.