Two Suffolk MPs have signed a letter from 26 Conservatives urging chancellor Rishi Sunak not to put up fuel duty in next Wednesday's budget.

Fuel duty has been frozen for more than 10 years - but there have been reports that Mr Sunak might try to increase it in a bid to try to restore the country's finances, after huge debts were built up fighting the Covid-induced recession.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon and the Fair Fuel UK campaign have written a letter signed by the MPs, who include Ipswich's Tom Hunt and Waveney's Peter Aldous, in a bid to persuade Mr Sunak not to put up fuel tax.

Mr Aldous said he had signed similar letters ever since he was first elected to the House of Commons in 2010, because he felt fuel tax was regressive and hit the poorest hardest.

He said: "There are three reasons why I oppose this. Everyone has to pay the same duty so it is a higher proportion of spending for the poorest members of society.

"Secondly, in a constituency like mine where the public transport is not that good, many more people have to rely on their cars to get about to work or anything else so they have no alternative but to pay this.

"And thirdly, in a rural seat like this, there is not a great deal of competition so pump prices tend to be higher anyway - and we don't need them to go any higher!"

Fair Fuel UK said that if chancellors had put up tax in line with the escalator they had used in the past, their tax take would be 43% higher and a litre of petrol would cost £1.70.

Mr Halfon - who has led the campaign in the House of Commons since 2010 - said: “Levelling up must mean cutting the cost of living for working people.

"At a time when those on lower incomes are struggling financially, a fuel duty increase would level down – far from building back better, it would damage the foundations of economic recovery.”