National Grid faces fresh fury as top boss is on holiday while a MILLION people are hit by power cut


NATIONAL Grid faced fresh fury last night after it emerged its £4.6million top boss is on a foreign break after a million people faced power cut hell.

Chief exec John Pettigrew’s pay, perks and pension package was branded a “national disgrace” after outage failings caused disruption across the country.

� 2016 Jason Alden

John Pettigrew is being criticised for the perks of his job after he was holiday when the UK was hit by a huge power cut[/caption]

Critics insisted Mr Pettigrew, 50, must be back at his desk tomorrow as the hugely profitable utility giant promised to “learn lessons” to avoid any repeat.

Problems arose on Friday when generators at Little Barford, Beds, and Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm failed within two minutes of each other.

The grid could not cope and safety systems cut off power in several places.

Passengers were stranded on trains, traffic lights failed and a million homes and businesses were blacked out.


Critics said it meant Mr Pettigrew, who rose through the ranks to land his job in 2016, was effectively being rewarded for failure.

He is on £944,000 a year topped up with performance targets. It dwarfs PM Boris Johnson’s £150,000 and the £230,000 paid to Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

He got a £497,000 relocation allowance in 2016 to move to a £1.5million Victorian home in London with gym, TV and games room.

Labour MP Chris Evans said: “This is a national disgrace. There shouldn’t be rewards for failure. Questions need to be raised over the chief executive’s pay and bonuses for next year.”


Tory MP Alan Mak said: “Senior bosses should be back at their desks on Monday morning to ensure this never happens again.

“There are vital lessons to learn. We can’t afford the country to stand still like this again. The regulator must take tough action over this, including levying a big fine.”

Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “National Grid, which in May posted £1.8billion in profits and increased dividends, must provide a full account of what went wrong, and why.”

Phil Hewitt of EnAppSys, which provides energy systems to power providers, said the chaos was easily avoidable.

He said: “They could have had more battery storage. It could have reacted instantly to the frequency dropping.

The root cause of yesterday’s issue was not with our system but was a rare and unusual event

“But that means more money being spent — and customers’ prices increasing.” Energy analyst David Hunter said the incident was a “wake-up call”.

A National Grid source said Mr Pettigrew had played a continuous role in the response to the outage.

An official spokesman said last night: “As the Electricity System Operator we do not generate power directly, but use the power made available by the industry to manage the system and balance supply and demand.

“The root cause of yesterday’s issue was not with our system but was a rare and unusual event — the almost simultaneous loss of two large generators.

“We are still investigating. There are lessons to learn.”

PA:Press Association

Bottled water is delivered to passengers on board a train at Peterborough which has been halted due to the power failures[/caption]

PA:Press Association

People walked in complete darkness at Clapham Junction station in London[/caption]

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