Tory wades into row over lack of flood insurance for homes

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THE Government is now facing cross-party calls to secure better flood insurance for householders after a Tory MP weighed into the row.

Beverley and Holderness Conservative MP Graham Stuart is launching a petition calling for a “fair deal” for homeowners after saying that talks between Ministers and the insurance industry were not progressing quickly enough.

His intervention follows months of campaigning on the issue by Hull North Labour MP Diana Johnson.

Mr Stuart said: “The Government is working with the Association of British Insurers to find a replacement to the ‘statement of principles’ which is due to expire in July, but this is not happening fast enough and pressure needs to be applied to secure a fair deal for homeowners.”

Urging people to sign, he said: “I will have copies of the petition at my street surgery in Hornsea this Saturday and at many public locations across the constituency.

“The petition is also available to download via my website.”

He added: “This is an issue that will affect countless homeowners across the constituency and we need as many signatures as possible to take the voice of Beverley and Holderness to Downing Street.”

The department in charge of the Government’s response to flooding was accused of being in a “shambles” in November last year after it admitted losing hundreds of letters from concerned residents.

A senior member of staff at the office of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told a researcher to Ms Johnson that they could not find 300 letters she had personally delivered to Mr Paterson on October 23.

The correspondence was from residents in her constituency seeking assurance over the lack of flood protection cover being offered by insurers. Many were victims of the devastating floods of June 2007, after which some companies stopped insuring affected areas.

However, hours after being contacted by the Yorkshire Post, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the letters had been found and were being processed.

Replies have now been sent, but Ms Johnson’s office said yesterday that it still appeared there had been little progress since the previous Environment Secretary assured her in the Commons on June 25 that a way forward had been found and there would be an announcement “shortly”.