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Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020

Jeremy Corbyn condemns Boris Johnson for not visiting flood-hit communities

Boris Johnson has faced criticism from Jeremy Corbyn for not visiting communities flooded during Storm Dennis.
The Labour leader also said the prime minister showed 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 the bad weather.

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.

‘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.’

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.

It comes after Storm Dennis brought devastation to communities across the UK – with more rain in store.

Forecasters are predicting a month’s worth of rain in the next 24 hours in some places.

Those already battling with the aftermath of several days worth of rain have been told to expect even more, with pockets of North Wales, northern England and Scotland among those in line for further deluges.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned there is a ‘heightened flood risk’ across the Midlands, while there are six severe flood warnings – meaning a danger to life – in place around the Rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye. The lower Avon also remains especially high.
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