Number 10 defends Boris Johnson’s failure to visit flood-hit areas

Number 10 have defended Boris Johnson’s failure to visit flood hit areas of the UK, insisting it was important not to "distract" from the ongoing effort to deal with the problem.

The Prime Minister was last seen in public nine days ago.

His official spokesman said: "We are hugely grateful to all of those who have helped in response, from the Environment Agency engineers and the emergency services out on the ground to the military who have stepped in to assist.

"The Government has extensive plans in place to deal with these kinds of extreme weather events and we are working tirelessly to help everyone affected."

Environment Secretary George Eustice and his department were leading the response, Downing Street said.

"It's important not to distract from that ongoing effort," the spokesman said.

  • Jeremy Corbyn meets flood-hit families while Boris Johnson slammed for inaction

  • Fury at government's 'pittance' flood aid as UK faces a month's rain in 24 hours

The mounting backlash against the PM’s no-show is expected to explode into the Commons today as MPs return from their February recess.

The Prime Minister has been accused of snubbing flood-hit communities ravaged by storms Ciara and Dennis, instead hiding away in Downing Street and his 115-room grace- and-favour mansion in Kent.

Today MPs will demand to know why the PM has left the job to his newly-appointed Environment Secretary George Eustice, who was handed the job in the February 13 reshuffle.

Yesterday Mr Eustice insisted that "in a cabinet government it's not a one-man show" but Labour point out that Mr Johnson was much more visible during last year's floods which happened during the election campaign.

Although some suggest his less-than-warm reception he received then could be detering him from visiting the affected areas this time round.

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