Morrisons executive chairman Sir Ken Morrison said Sainsbury’s possible offer for rival supermarket chain Safeway would lead to less choice and the risk of higher prices.

Speaking in response to Sainsbury’s announcement this morning, Sir Ken said: “A combination of Morrisons and Safeway would create a strong fourth national food retailer which would strengthen competition and be in the best interests of consumers and suppliers.

“Any combination that reduces the national players from four to three would lead to less choice and the risk of higher prices.

“Sainsbury's is yet to make an offer for Safeway. Our offer is the only one on the table and is recommended by Safeway,” he added.