Lidl has blamed empty shelves at some of its stores on "disruptions to supply chain networks".

Pictures taken in the last few days have revealed a lack of products at a number of stores across the UK.

Other supermarkets are also being affected, including Morrisons, Tesco and Aldi.

Reasons for the shortage have varied, with Brexit, Covid, a shortage of lorry drivers and even the earlier blockage of the Suez Canal all being blamed.

However, it appears a shortage in lorry drivers who supply the supermarkets is the main issue.

Reports say there is a shortfall of as many as 100,000 drivers due to a combination of factors, including Covid-19, Brexit and poor pay.

Lidl said there has been disruption to its supply chain.

"Unfortunately, like a number of other retailers, the availability of some products has been impacted by the current disruptions to supply chain networks," a spokesperson said.

Wandsworth Times: Empty supermarket shelves are being reported across the UKEmpty supermarket shelves are being reported across the UK

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and are doing all we can to resolve the issues as soon as possible and to minimise any impact to our customers."

On Wednesday, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced a temporary extension of lorry drivers' hours and said he would increase the number of HGV tests to alleviate the problem.

The actual cause is harder to pinpoint. Covid-19 continues to have an impact, with some 30,000 HGV tests being cancelled and some drivers self-isolating due to the pandemic.

Demand for groceries also continues to remain high, as it has done since coronavirus became a major issue in the UK.

It is also thought around 15,000 non-UK lorry drivers who returned to their own countries during the pandemic have not come back due to tighter immigration controls introduced since Brexit.

Business leaders wrote to the Government in June calling for measures to allow Eastern European drivers back into the country to avert a shock to food supplies.

Tesco has said the shortage of HGV drivers is leading to an additional 48 tonnes of food waste each week.

Premier Foods, one of Britain’s biggest food companies, last week called on the government to consider using the army to distribute goods.

Following Mr Shapps' announcement, HGV drivers will be able to raise their daily driving limit from nine to 10 hours or change weekly rest patterns.

The Road Haulage Association - which believes the driver shortfall is closer to 65,000 drivers - described the move as a 'sticking plaster'.

Many claim that poor working conditions and pay are causing drivers to leave the industry, or at least not return to it now there is a shortage.