Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi defends Boris Johnson for not visiting flood-hit communities

Bonnie Christian
Sky News

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi has defended the Prime Minister for not visiting flood-hit communities despite him doing so during his general election campaign.

Mr Zahawi said Boris Johnson was focused on getting funding to the communities rather than having a “media photo op”.

His comments come after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised Mr Johnson for showing his “true colours” by not visiting the areas affected by Storm Dennis or convening the Government’s emergency committee Cobra.

Mr Zahawi told Sky News: “He is now Prime Minister and is leading the team as the Prime Minister but quite rightly, rather than having a sort of jamboree of media and your whole entourage going, he wants to help people by getting the funding to them, like businesses, £2,500 per business impacted by the floods, (and) the Bellwin Scheme activated."

Boris Johnson has been critcised for not visiting flood hit communities (REUTERS)

He added: “Ultimately, what’s more important, action or just simply having a media photo op? Or what’s better? It’s much better for the Prime Minister to keep his ministers focused on delivery rather than a media photo op.”

Mr Corbyn is due to visit South Wales on Thursday to meet residents and volunteers in communities affected by Storm Dennis.

Ahead of the visit, he said areas most vulnerable to flooding had been “badly let down time and time again”.

He called the Government’s response to recent flooding “wholly inadequate” and accused ministers of failing to grasp the scale of the climate crisis.

“In refusing to visit flood-hit communities, nowhere-to-be-seen Boris Johnson is showing his true colours by his absence,” Mr Corbyn said.

“Failing to convene Cobra to support flood-hit communities sends a very clear message: if the Prime Minister is not campaigning for votes in a general election he simply does not care about helping communities affected by flooding, especially communities that have repeatedly been flooded in recent years.

“I want to thank our emergency services, the Welsh Labour government, local authorities and volunteers who have come together and worked around the clock to protect homes and businesses from flooding.

“As the climate crisis deepens, extreme weather conditions will become more frequent and severe.

“The Government’s response has been wholly inadequate and fails to grasp the scale of this crisis.”