Boris Johnson missing in action as Storm Dennis causes flooding misery: The Yorkshire Post says

After his resounding General Election victory in December, Boris Johnson thanked previous Labour voters who had “lent” him their backing and promised he would never take such support for granted.

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.

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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.

A man wades through flood water in Hereford. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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.

A Flood Warden delivering a vacuum cleaner through flooded streets in Hereford, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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.

Boris Johnson, chatting to flood victims during his visit to Stainforth Community Resource Centre, Stainforth, near Doncaster in November 2019. Picture: James Hardisty