Corbyn: PM is showing his 'true colours' after not visiting flood-hit communities

20 February 2020, 00:01

Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the Prime Minister
Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the Prime Minister. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the Prime Minister for not visiting communities affected by flooding.

The Labour leader also said Boris Johnson was showing his "true colours" by not convening the Government's emergency committee Cobra.

Mr Corbyn is due to visit South Wales on Thursday to meet residents and volunteers in communities affected by Storm Dennis.

Ahead of the visit, he said areas most vulnerable to flooding had been "badly let down time and time again".

He called the Government's response to recent flooding "wholly inadequate" and accused ministers of failing to grasp the scale of the climate crisis.

"In refusing to visit flood-hit communities, nowhere-to-be-seen Boris Johnson is showing his true colours by his absence," Mr Corbyn said.

He continued: "Failing to convene Cobra to support flood-hit communities sends a very clear message: if the Prime Minister is not campaigning for votes in a general election he simply does not care about helping communities affected by flooding, especially communities that have repeatedly been flooded in recent years.

"I want to thank our emergency services, the Welsh Labour government, local authorities and volunteers who have come together and worked around the clock to protect homes and businesses from flooding.

"As the climate crisis deepens, extreme weather conditions will become more frequent and severe.

"The Government's response has been wholly inadequate and fails to grasp the scale of this crisis."

Six danger to life warnings are in place
Six danger to life warnings are in place. Picture: Getty

His comments come as forecasters predict a month's worth of rain to fall in just 24 hours.

People already battling with the aftermath of several days worth of rain have been told that more rain is to be expected, with pockets of North Wales, northern England and Scotland among those in line for further deluges.

The Environment Agency has put out a warning for "heightened flood risk" across the Midlands.

It comes after they warned that England had already received 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far this month.

Six "danger to life" flood warnings are in place as rivers come close to bursting their banks.

The warnings are in place for the Rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye.

The lower Avon also remains especially high.As of Wednesday afternoon, flood warnings remain for 120 places, with a further 150 lower category alerts also present.

Flood warnings are in place across the UK
Flood warnings are in place across the UK. Picture: Getty

On Tuesday, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price also questioned why the Prime Minister had not called a Cobra meeting.

He said the Welsh Government should have its own Cobra-style national emergency response system, particularly for flooding disasters, to discuss emergency responses across all public authorities.

On Wednesday afternoon, First Minister Mark Drakeford held a summit at the Emergency Coordination Centre Wales (ECCW) in Cardiff.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "Jeremy Corbyn shouldn't be trying to politicise the floods, he should be backing the Government's move to support and work with emergency personnel who are working tirelessly to help everyone affected.

"We are investing £2.6 billion in flood defences, which have already protected 200,000 properties that would otherwise have been caught out by flooding.

"We know there is more to do - which is why our manifesto committed us to an additional £4 billion for flood defences and today we've set out new measures to help the communities directly affected."