Jeremy Corbyn has claimed Boris Johnson “does not care” about the communities devastated by flooding in the wake of Storm Dennis.
The Labor leader said the prime minister was showing his “true colors “by failing to visit affected areas and convene COBRA, the government emergency committee.
Mr Corbyn, who is due to travel to South Wales later today, said the government response to recent flooding has been “wholly inadequate” – and he ministers of failing to get to grips with the climate crisis.
He added: “In refusing to visit flood-hit communities, nowhere-to-be-seen Boris Johnson is showing his true colors by his absence.
” 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. “
His remarks were criticized by Environment Secretary George Eustice, who accused the outgoing Leader of the Opposition of “trying to politicise the floods”.
Mr Eustice added: “He should be backing the government move to support and work with emergency personnel who are working tirelessly to help everyone affected.
“We are investing £ 2.6bn in flood defences, which have already protected , 02 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 £ 4bn for flood defences. “
Mr Johnson is spending the week in Chevening – his grace and favor pad in Kent – while parliament is off for half-term.
But he has faced calls from some, including a flood victim in Shropshire, to cut short the break and see the extent of the damage.
The political row came as forecasters warned the weather for flood-hit communities is going to get worse before it gets better.
The Met Office has issued warnings for heavy rain in Wales, southern Scotland and the North West of England for today.
As of 4am, six severe flood warnings – indicating a danger to life – remain in force across England. In areas , residents are being warned that flooding is expected and immediate action is required.
In Wales, there are currently four flood warnings and seven flood alerts.
Parts of the UK could see a month’s worth of rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson warned: “A lot of places are very sensitive after recent rainfall and, unfortunately, there is more rain to Come. There’s no real sign of things settling down weather-wise.
“We do have more warnings in force after today’s rain but they’re in slightly different areas of the country, southwest Scotland and parts of Yorkshire. “
The Met Office added that no other storms have been named, despite reports of an incoming “Storm Ellen” this weekend.
According to the Environment Agency, England had already received % of its average February rainfall so far this month.
Vic Haddock, whose home in Shropshire was one of hundreds flooded, has also urged the prime minister to visit communities like his.
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, he said: “I’m a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson … now I’ve supported him, come on Boris, come and support me.
” I’ll buy you a pint and we’ll have a chat about this and see if you can sort out the differences between the arguments around the council, world heritage, conservation etc, and find out who’s finally responsible, to give us a bit of aid. “
Reacting to the news the government is offering flood victims up to £ 768 in relief, he laughed and said: “£ 500? What’s that going to do? There’s £ 728 of damage in the freezer and fridge alone. “
Iain Bundred, a former adviser to Gordon Brown who joined him on a trip to Cockermouth when it was flooded over a decade ago, said a prime ministerial visit in such circumstances is not always appropriate.
“Just the very nature of being on the ground means that you are going to divert stuff and that’s not always the best thing, “he told Sky News.
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