“FLOODING isn’t a natural disaster — it’s human-made,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said as he blasted the government’s “weak” climate plans before he visited devastated homes in the Dearne Valley.
Mr Corbyn was joined by Don Valley Labour candidate Caroline Flint as they visited homes affected in Conisbrough and met firefighters at Doncaster station.
“This is what a climate and environment emergency looks like,” said the Labour leader ahead of Saturday’s visit.
“Every year we don’t act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk.
“Flooding isn’t a natural disaster — it’s human-made. Not only are the government’s plans to tackle the climate emergency weak, they’ve failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention and Tory cuts have stretched emergency services to breaking point.”
The Labour politicians criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not declaring the flooding in Yorkshire and the Midlands a national emergency over the weekend.
Ms Flint said: “If this was happening in Surrey, it would have been an instant emergency, not an afterthought.”
Yesterday, Ms Flint backed the Labour leader’s calls for a Government emergency COBRA meeting to be held and flood relief funds to be released.
Mr Corbyn added: “This is a national emergency. A national emergency means that special funds are released immediately to help people in desperate need.”
He called for more money to be put into the fire service, Environment Agency and flood defences.
The Government announced the PM will chair an emergency meeting later today (Tuesday) after 400 homes were flooded in the region and 1,200 properties were evacuated.
Since Thursday, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has received 2,500 calls and carried out 220 rescues.
Mr Johnson, who visited Matlock on Friday where the floods caused the death of former Derbyshire High Sheriff Annie Hall — activated the Government’s emergency Bellwin scheme to reminburse local authorities for the costs they incur as part of their response to flooding.