Boris Johnson says visiting flood victims sooner would have been ‘too easy’

Boris Johnson says he decided not to visit flood-stricken communities during the height of the weather crisis – because to do so would be "too easy".

The Prime Minister came under fire for not making trips when water levels were at their peak.

Today he was heckled as he met affected people in Worcestershire, where he attempted to justify his no-show.

He also faced shouts of "traitor" as he viewed flood barriers – and one person told him to "do your f****** job" as he posed with teenagers for a selfie on a bridge in the town.

Mr Johnson said it was "too easy" for a PM to "come to a place in a middle of an emergency" – instead saying it was "not so easy, frankly, for the emergency services".

  • Government won't consider delaying Brexit to soften impact of coronavirus

  • Over 40s could pay 2.5% more in tax to pay for social care under proposals

He faced heavy criticism for staying in the Foreign Secretary's Chevening country estate in Kent during the height of the floods last month, rather than visiting regions including Yorkshire, South Wales and the Midlands.

Speaking on the banks of the River Severn in Bewdley where he viewed flood defences, the Prime Minister told reporters: "What they have to do is then break off and gold command has to find somewhere to brief you, everybody has to gather.

"They're diverting from their work for hours and hours.

"What I've been doing since the flooding began is coordinating the national response but also looking at what we can do in the next months and years to ensure this country really is ready to cope with the impacts of flooding."

  • Boris Johnson heckled as 'traitor' as he finally visits flood-hit community

Bewdley has been among the worst-hit areas in England following the wettest February on record.

Mr Johnson said he would "get Bewdley done" as he spoke to residents affected by the floods.

He said he was "so sorry to hear it" when he heard homes had been overwhelmed by as much as 2ft of water.

Mr Johnson was later mobbed by members of the public as he continued his walk – with a number of people trying to shake his hand and to take photos as he made his way along the river.

He has also met members of the emergency services who responded when the water levels rose.

The PM joined them for a cup of tea and biscuits as he told them that the defence structures in the town were "pretty amazing".

He told reporters: "I'm here today to look at the recovery of Bewdley from the flooding. It's badly affected quite a lot of residents here."

He thanked the Environment Agency and emergency services, before adding that he would also "look at what we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again".

"We're doubling the budgets we've set aside for investment in flood protection across the country from £2.6 billion to £5.2 billion."

Source: Read Full Article