Sadiq Khan: London flash floods shows climate change danger is 'closer to home'

27 July 2021, 08:27

The capital saw flooding over the weekend, with the most rainfall on Sunday.
The capital saw flooding over the weekend, with the most rainfall on Sunday. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Flash flooding in London shows the "dangers of climate change", Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.

Mr Khan is set to meet with councils, Transport for London, the London Fire Brigade and the Environment Agency on Tuesday to see how flooding can be prevented and its impact reduced.

He revealed that the emergency services and local councils had hundreds of calls regarding the weather on Sunday afternoon and evening, with St James's Park in London reaching 41.8mm of rainfall.

"The serious flash flooding in London over the last two weekends will have caused major concern and anxiety for many Londoners and it shows that the dangers of climate change are now moving closer to home," Mr Khan said.

"Despite having limited powers in the area, it remains a key priority for myself and London's council leaders that more is done to urgently tackle flooding and the other impacts of climate change.

"This is why I have brought together all of the key partners to see what more can be done, including the water companies who have to address the localised issues with infrastructure that may exacerbate the impact of flooding."

Read more: Flooding sparks widespread disruption as thunderstorms hit London

Read more: Sadiq Khan: Non-mask wearers on TfL could face penalties through 'bylaw'

The Mayor of London will be speaking with Transport for London, the London Fire Brigade and Environment Agency on Tuesday.
The Mayor of London will be speaking with Transport for London, the London Fire Brigade and Environment Agency on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

The Mayor of London went on to address the upcoming COP26, saying it would give the government the opportunity to take "bolder action" against the crisis.

"I continue to lobby the government to devolve more funding and powers to local leaders to enable us to deal with both flooding and the wider impacts of climate change," the Mayor said.

"COP26 this year provides an opportunity for the government to show global leadership and give us the powers and resources we need to take even bolder action on climate change."

The capital saw nearly a month's worth of rain on Sunday alone, with homes, roads and Tube stations flooded.

Meanwhile, one hospital was forced to cancel all surgery and outpatient appointments on Monday due to the heavy rain.

It comes as the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms across the UK - in place until Wednesday morning in England and Wales and Thursday morning for Scotland - with the public to expect more heavy rain and potential disruption.

Up to 60mm of rain could fall inside three hours in some places as showers and thunderstorms develop.

Ten flood alerts are still in place in England, six of them inside the M25.