LONDON - British leadership candidate Liz Truss said on Wednesday she would work with energy companies to bring down prices if she becomes prime minister, as she faces growing pressure to set out more support for households struggling with rising energy bills.

Truss, the frontrunner to succeed Boris Johnson, has so far said she favours tax cuts over direct handouts to help households with a cost-of-living squeeze. Critics say tax cuts would favour the richest over the poorest.

"It's also important that we work with the energy companies to bring the prices down ... I'm going to deal with supply. I'm going to help bring the prices down," Truss, currently foreign secretary, said during a question session with members of the public on GB News.

Britain is bracing for already high energy bills to more than triple this year, with charities warning that millions of people could be forced into poverty if the government does not launch a multi-billion pound support package to soften the blow.

Truss's rival for the top job, former finance minister Sunak, has said further direct support will be needed and has also promised a year-long hiatus on paying value-added tax (VAT) on energy bills.

Asked whether she would cut VAT from energy bills, Truss cited her plans to hold an emergency budget if she is chosen as leader and said "all of these issues need to be under consideration".

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)