Boris Johnson faced criticism the past month after he failed to visit areas across the UK affected by severe floodings because of bad weather throughout the month of February. The Prime Minister was accused of only caring about potential voters after having previously travelled to flooded areas ahead of the December 12 election. But speaking to This Morning on Thursday, Mr Johnson revealed he was “told not to” visit the flooded areas by emergency services.
Confronted over his absence by This Morning hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Mr Johnson said: “They said to us, ‘all you’ll do is distract us and disrupt the business of helping people, with the immediate crisis.
“What I was doing was directing people, making sure people get the schemes, that they get the £5,000 they need, that they get the business rate support. That we get the flood defences in place.”
The Prime Minister added: ” We have a wonderful system called Cabinet Government and we’re working around the clock to protect those victims.
“I’m very proud of the work the emergency services do and of the work of Cabinet ministers. What happens when you go to a flood area is you arrive and everybody as the down tools because the goal command, they all meet for an hour or more to brief you.
“What we will be doing is making sure that communities get the support they need.”
A quick succession of extreme weather fronts hitting the UK resulted in widespread flooding in Wales and the north of England.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded and six people died in the first half of February because of the heavy downpours seriously testing the strength of flood defences.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had accused the Prime Minister of showing his “true colours” by bot meeting with flood victims despite the Government insisting Boris Johnson remained up to date about the situation thanks to the work of Environment Secretary George Eustice.
To help support flooded areas, the Government announced a new £500 financial hardship payment available for those affected as well as council tax and business rates relief.