PM calls emergency COBRA meeting on floods as towns evacuate

11 November 2019, 20:06 | Updated: 11 November 2019, 20:45

Boris Johnson is to chair a COBRA meeting tomorrow.
Boris Johnson is to chair a COBRA meeting tomorrow. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Downing Street has announced the Prime Minister has called a COBRA meeting on the floods on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister will chair the meeting on Tuesday to discuss the response to recent flooding, Downing Street said.

The announcement came after Jeremy Corbyn sent a letter to Boris Johnson calling on him to hold the meeting and "take personal charge" of the Government's response.

The Labour leader said he disagreed with the Prime Minister's assessment at the weekend that the flooding was "not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency".

Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Prime Minister demanding he told an emergency meeting
Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Prime Minister demanding he told an emergency meeting. Picture: PA Images

In his letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn wrote: "With heavy rain expected in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands, in areas that are already suffering from flooding, hundreds of further flood warnings are in place.

"Rightly there will be hundreds of thousands of people across these regions who remain concerned about their families and livelihoods.

"With this in mind, I am writing to urge you to hold a Cobra meeting and take personal charge of the Government's response to the devastating flooding we have seen over the past few days.

"In addition, we need full assurance from the Government that every resource is being utilised to aid those that need it and protect against future potential floods."

Fishlake near Doncaster has been ordered to evacuate after the flooding.
Fishlake near Doncaster has been ordered to evacuate after the flooding. Picture: PA Images

The Environment Agency had five severe "danger to life" flood warnings in place on Monday afternoon, all in and around Doncaster, as well as 39 other flood warnings across the country.

Residents in Fishlake, near Doncaster, raised concerns that more flooding was likely from the River Don unless existing water was pumped away.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning for rain in place until midday on Tuesday, covering parts of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Sheffield.

After the Cobra meeting was announced, a Labour spokesman said: "If these floods had happened in Surrey, this would have happened five days ago."

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