Boris Johnson refused to be drawn on whether he would sign off on Sizewell C before ending his term in office, saying people will have to wait until later this week.

Asked if he will sign off on the new nuclear reactor on the Suffolk coast before he leaves office, Mr Johnson told reporters in Barrow-in-Furness: “You’re going to have to wait and contain your excitement on that until later this week.

“What I can tell you is that we are going to make sure that we deliver on the nuclear future that this country deserves.

“We’re going to do one every year. Now, I’m not saying nuclear is the only solution, of course it isn’t, but it’s a part of the solution. You’ve got to have nuclear as part of your baseload so it’s reliable, so it can continue to deliver steady sustainable and, by the way, carbon-neutral supplies.”

The Sizewell C project was first proposed by EDF nearly 10 years ago and went before planners two years ago before finally being given the go-ahead by the government on July 20.