Gove: Ed's right on energy prices
Ed Miliband has received some surprise backing in his battle with the energy companies - from Conservative Cabinet minister Michael Gove.
The Education Secretary said he took claims by the companies that Labour's plans for a 20-month price freeze would lead to power blackouts "with a pinch of salt".
Appearing on BBC1's Question Time, Mr Gove said the Labour leader had been "absolutely right" to say energy prices were too high, in his party conference speech on Tuesday.
Asked if he felt the power companies were scaremongering about the threat of the lights going off, Mr Gove said: "I do take what they say with a pinch of salt actually.
"The way in which the major energy companies have behaved in the past does not give me confidence in everything that they say."
He added: "One thing that Ed Miliband did get right is that the energy prices at the moment are too high.
"He's absolutely right to draw attention to one of the worst examples of the way in which people's cost of living is under attack."
"He is also I think right to draw attention to the fact that the behaviour of the six power companies hasn't been entirely admirable ever since they've had a chance to be able to play the market in the way they have,"
Mr Gove said Labour's plan to impose a statutory price freeze if it won the general election in 2015 was "not as well thought through as it should be".
"I don't think that this answer really, so far as we can see at the moment, is a necessary and proportionate way of dealing with it," he said.
However his intervention suggests that Conservative strategists believe that Mr Miliband has struck a popular chord with his attack on the "big six" energy firms.
They pave the way for the Tories to come forward with their own plans to curb the energy prices at their conference next week in Manchester.