Europa Worldwide Group chief executive Andrew Baxter (pictured) has launched a vociferous attack on the RHA this week, accusing it of leaking information from confidential government meetings, failing to prepare hauliers for Brexit and “substantially” causing the fuel crisis by “leaking information about fuel stocks”.

Baxter is calling for RHA chief executive Richard Burnett to resign and has terminated the company’s membership of the RHA “after becoming disillusioned with its handling of Brexit and the fuel crisis”.

The Europa chief executive is a Conservative Party donor and keen Brexiteer, who hosted Boris Johnson at Europa headquarters during his Brexit campaign and sported pro-Brexit livery on his trucks ahead of the referendum.

In an open letter, Baxter said he was “appalled” by the RHA’s conduct, adding that it is “no longer an adequate representative organisation for the UK road haulage industry”.

He goes on to accuse the RHA of “repeatedly leaking information from confidential meetings” and pointed to a Panorama programme aired three years ago claiming the RHA shared “a private voicemail” from the then transport secretary Chris Grayling.

The programme focused on Brexit preparations in which Burnett revealed that Grayling had left him a voicemail threatening to exclude road hauliers from No Deal Brexit planning after the RHA issued a press release about a meeting with the minister.

Baxter also accused the RHA of undermining Brexit preparations “by constantly telling hauliers that they could not prepare for Brexit when the vast majority of what was required was clear.

“It should have recognised and understood that the very nature of the negotiation with the EU would mean that some details would only be clear at the last minute.

“Hauliers should have been encouraged to prepare for what was known, and to react to the remaining details when they were known.

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He also blames the RHA in large part for the petrol pump crisis.

“The RHA was substantially responsible for the current fuel crisis, by leaking information regarding fuel stocks, which has damaged the country and the haulage sector," he said.

“British hauliers don’t need political posturing, what they need is a serious representative body that works constructively with government to achieve genuine results for the transport sector.”

Baxter called for the resignation of the RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett: “It is surely now time for him to resign his position, in order to make way for new leadership who can rebuild links with the government. If or when these changes take place, we will be happy to reconsider our membership of the RHA.”

The RHA refuted Baxter’s claims. An RHA spokeswoman said: “It is entirely untrue that the RHA was in any way to blame for the fuel crisis: indeed, our spokesman appeared on TV to repeatedly stress fuel stocks were high and there was no need to panic buy.

Turning to Brexit, she added: “The RHA has never expressed a view on Brexit and respects the UK’s democratic decision to leave the EU, nor did it undermine preparations for Brexit: however, we were reflecting our own members' concerns over the border and customs arrangements and their very real worries were communicated to government and officials as part of our normal activity on behalf of them.

The RHA also denied it had a political agenda. The spokeswoman said: “The RHA rejects accusations that it is politically motivated: we have received many messages of support from members praising our campaigning on the driver shortage, Brexit related issues and a range of other issues affecting the UK’s vital logistics and supply chains.”

The letter follows a row between the RHA and the government last month when the association issued a “categorical” denial that it triggered the petrol pump crisis by leaking remarks made by a BP executive at a private government meeting.

The claim was made in the Mail on Sunday by “a senior government source” who also threatened to “deal with the RHA” after the crisis was over.

The claims have been slammed by RHA as a “disgraceful” attempt at diverting attention away from the government’s handling of the HGV driver shortage.

RHA pointed out at the time that it could not have leaked the information as it had not attended the private government meeting where the fuel pump crisis had been discussed, only being made aware of the situation by an ITV journalist later that week.

The row erupted as towns and cities across Britain witnessed panic buying and fuel shortages as long lines of cars began queuing for petrol after it emerged BP was shutting a number of its fuel stations due to the lack of HGV driver to deliver the fuel.