Conservative MPs have voted against a Labour motion to thank those who worked in response to the major flooding that has been seen across Britain in recent weeks, the motion falling by a margin of 328 votes to 227. The motion had called on the government to issue a thank you for responders service and called for an independent review to assess the governmental response, the review designed to see what lessons could be learned for future disaster relief and response. All but one Conservative MP voted against the call.
MP’s had been asked to support the motion as they debated the impact of flooding on communities and businesses during Labour’s opposition day.
“That this House notes the damage caused by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge and expresses thanks to workers from the Environment Agency, emergency services, local councils and volunteers; and calls for Ministers to set up an independent review into the floods, including the Government’s response, the adequacy of the funding provided for flood defences and prevention, difficulties facing homes and businesses with getting insurance and what lessons need to be learnt in light of the climate emergency and the increased likelihood of flooding in the future.”The motion
In all, 328 Conservative MPs and 7 DUP MPs voted against thanking responders while everyone else in the House voted for the motion.
The vote will only increase the criticism surrounding the conduct of the government, with Boris Johnson failing to visit communities suffering from the disaster and being branded the “part-time Prime Minister” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking before the vote in the House, the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Luke Pollard MP said that “Boris Johnson has proved himself to be a part-time Prime Minister who is unwilling to help communities and businesses that have suffered terribly because of the floods.”
“There needs to be an independent review into the government’s woefully slow response to help flood-hit communities. We need to know how many homes and businesses have been affected, and what additional funding will be made available to local authorities and emergency services. Labour will continue to support communities devastated by the floods and hold the government to account for its inaction.”Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Tory rejection of the motion is not only ungrateful and disrespectful to the many who have assisted and helped communities across affected areas during a period when Britain’s own Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been missing in action, it once again shows that the government is unwilling to engage in any form of public scrutiny surrounding its failings. The devastation across the country caused by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge follows years of Conservative Party cuts to flood defence spending, the Environment Agency, emergency services and local councils alongside a total failure to adequately respond to the climate emergency and the dangers it represents to our towns and cities, especially in coastal areas.
Main Image: Part of a temporary lake link covering most of Kimberley Park on February 17th 2020 after prolonged heavy rain brought by Storm Dennis on the previous two days. The rain fell on ground saturated by Storm Ciara the previous weekend. | © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence