Burns victim could haunt government

A woman has suffered 40% burns after decanting petrol in her kitchen, following controversial advice from ministers for dealing with a potential fuel strike.

Earlier this week, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude was criticised by fire fighters for telling members of the public to keep a jerry can of petrol at home in case of a fuel strike.

Today, Ed Balls suggested he might be to blame for the accident when he told BBC Radio Leeds "some people are paying a very, very heavy price" for the "panic" caused by ministers' comments.

Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey said Francis Maude should resign.

"This woman was following advice from government minister Francis Maude and ends up with 40% burns," he wrote. "Disgraceful. He should resign."

Ironically, the development comes as union Unite confirmed there would be no strike over the Easter weekend.

Critics have accused the government of presiding over a shambles in its response to the potential strike.