Yet the Prime Minister’s decision not to visit flood-hit areas of the country following either Storm Ciara or Storm Dennis contrasts with his trips to Matlock in Derbyshire and Fishlake near Doncaster when they were affected by flooding in November during the election campaign.
Equally, a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee, Cobra, was convened in November but has not been done so this week, despite particularly appalling scenes of devastation in South Wales. Number 10 has said that it is “right” that Defra and the Environment Secretary lead on the response to this month’s flooding but that was clearly not the Prime Minister’s position in November.
While Yorkshire thankfully escaped the very worst effects of Storm Dennis, residents are all-too-aware that the next major flood in the region is only a matter of time.
Such a view is reinforced by Dame Kate Barker, of the National Infrastructure Commission, who has said climate change will make severe weather in the UK even worse and that the Government needs to develop a national standard of resilience to flooding.
Mr Johnson is undoubtedly a skilled politician who understands the importance of opinion.
By staying away from areas that have been hit by the floods – as bad if not even worse than those places he did visit in November, he may well be doing the right thing: leaving the chaos and ceremony that comes with Prime Ministerial visits aside for the clean-up effort to continue without he and his entourage getting in the way. However, unless he spends the time he wins back reforming the Environment Agency et al, he’ll just be hiding.