FEW tears will be shed here for Theresa Villiers after Boris Johnson sacked the Environment Secretary in a Cabinet reshuffle overshadowed by Sajid Javid’s resignation.
Yet such machinations will be of secondary consideration to Yorkshire’s flooding victims – and all those living on tenterhooks as Britain braces itself for the arrival of Storm Dennis.
They, rightly, want to know why successive governments – and Mr Johnson’s administration is no exception – have failed to honour their promises to invest in the region’s flood defences and other policies, like dredging, which could help to protect vulnerable communities.
And they will be increasingly dismayed, after the visit of Mrs Villiers to the Calder Valley became a PR disaster when she tried to snub the regional media, that firefighters – the very people expected to risk their lives to reach those in peril – do not have the necessary training or equipment.
An issue that The Yorkshire Post highlighted last month in the aftermath of the South Yorkshire floods, and the extraordinary efforts of fire fighting personnel in the summer of last year to prevent the Whaley Bridge dam bursting, it is absurd that the Government has not seen fit to address this anomaly.
Even if Ministers believe that the current level of fire cover is sustainable, and the FBU believes it is not, it is simply indefensible that crews are so ill-equipped, and have no statutory responsibility, to wade into swollen rivers, and flood-hit areas, to respond to life and death emergencies.
This is one 999 call that Ministers cannot afford to ignore for any longer.