Cobra to meet over northern floods

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to chair a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee in response to floods in northern England.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, had sent a letter to Johnson asking him to ‘take personal charge of the government’s response to the devastating flooding we have seen over the past few days’, demanding the government ensure ‘every resource is being utilised to aid those that need it and protect against future potential floods’.

The Environment Agency has 38 flood warnings in place as well as five severe warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire. To date, approximately 400 homes have been flooded and 1,200 properties evacuated.

According to Number 10, the decision to hold a meeting about the response to flooding had been taken prior to the letter from Corbyn.

Analysis by the Labour Party has revealed that flood response services have faced crippling cuts under the Tories, with frontline agency staffing numbers slashed by more than a fifth. Since the Conservatives came to power, fire and rescue services across the country have been cut by over £300 million in real terms, shedding 23 per cent of their frontline staff.

In South and West Yorkshire firefighters have been cut by 25 and 36 per cent respectively. Whilst Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have seen a cut of 11 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.