» Tuesday, November 20, 1900


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) read out the Prime Minister’s statement on the flooding in Cumbria:

“I have spoken to Craig Mackey the Chief Constable of Cumbria and assured him that any help he needs will be provided by the Government, and to Hilary Benn the Environment Secretary who is in Cumbria assessing response needs. Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by these floods, and our thanks go out to all the emergency services and all other agencies involved in the response who continue in their extraordinary efforts to help the people affected.”

The PMS said that he had spoken to Hilary Benn before lobby and that he had praised the work of the emergency services in the area. Hilary Benn had sat in on the local Gold Command meeting this morning and said that they were doing an exceptional job.

He also mentioned the very serious impact that the flooding had had on businesses in the area – some premises had been very badly affected. He had been clear in discussions with people locally including the emergency services that the Government stood ready to provide any help needed. He also pointed out that new flood defences, for example in Carlisle, appeared to be working well.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be going to Cumbria, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was in close contact with Hilary Benn, who was in Cumbria at the moment, and was being kept fully up to date on events there. The Government would do all it could to support people on the ground.

Asked if any particular help had been requested, the PMS said that the situation was moving hour by hour, and part of the reason for Hilary Benn’s visit was to see if there was anything the Government could specifically do.

Three RAF Search & Rescue helicopters from bases at Valley, Leconfield and Boulmer and two RAF Mountain Rescue Teams were assisting at the scene. Personnel from RAF Spadeadam with Landrovers were providing the police and fire services with additional mobility in the town and 42 Brigade, the regional brigade for the North West, continued to liaise closely with Cumbria Police.

Asked if Hilary Benn would be at Cabinet today, the PMS said that Hilary Benn would miss today’s Cabinet meeting due to the fact he was in Cumbria.

Asked if there would be a COBRA meeting on the floods, the PMS said there were currently no plans for a COBRA meeting.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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