The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of being 'missing in action' as he reportedly chose to spend time in a lakeside mansion in Kent instead of visiting victims of the Storm Dennis floods. According to international media reports, he has been sheltering from the storm in his 115-room country mansion in Chevening, Kent. He also does not intend to hold an emergency Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBRA) meeting to show his support for survivors of the storms.
However, UK PM's deputy official spokesperson reportedly said that he will continue to receive updates on the ongoing flooding situation. According to reports, the UK government has also activated a scheme to provide emergency financial assistance to affected areas, as hundreds of homes remained flooded and the transport network struggled to cope with the disruption from Storm Dennis.
Johnson also faced a backlash from Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard. While speaking to an international media outlet, he said that it is a 'disgrace' that the government has not convened COBRA. Shadow Culture Secretary Tracy Brabin also criticised Johnson and said that this is an 'absolute emergency' and the 'government has to see people round the table'. Tory MP for Shipley Philip Davies has also demanded the government to 'pull its finger out'.
Why has Boris Johnson not called a COBRA meeting to deal with the severe floods? He did so just before the General Election when he needed your votes, but not now. People’s homes and businesses are underwater. It’s time for a proper Government response https://t.co/eTVoODOcjV— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) February 17, 2020
The Prime Minister is missing in action as communities remain underwater. It’s time for him to call a COBRA meeting and unlock emergency funds for flood hit areas #WhereIsBoris https://t.co/AfY0QLLcCC— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) February 18, 2020
Strong winds and heavy rains battered parts of Britain as Storm Dennis swept through the country. According to reports, the storm has affected the northwest region of France as approximately 60,000 people suffered power cuts and rails and traffic were also disrupted. According to Britain's government weather agency, a rare red warning was issued for south Wales saying that there is significant risk from the flooding as fast-flowing water poses danger to life and extensive flooding could lead to property damage and road closures.
As per reports, a record 594 flood warnings were issued on Saturday and Sunday, extending from north of England to further South. Winds up to 90mph were recorded in Aberdaron in south Wales and the defence ministry in the country deployed the army to handle the situation. Storm Dennis is the second storm to hit England in a week and has caused hundreds of flights across Europe to be cancelled.