Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:01 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Assistant Whip 2:01 pm, 4th March 2020

I agree with my hon. Friend, and I shall cover a number of those points later in my speech.

It is for those reasons that I will not be voting for the Opposition’s motion but, just to show balance, I must say that the Government amendment is also a great opportunity lost, and is of no comfort or consolation to the thousands of people who have had their properties flooded—in many cases, yet again.

First, I wish to mention the Government response. In 2015, when the whole of the north of England was hit by flooding, the Government were quick to announce a support package for each of those affected by floods, whether homes or businesses. Given the scale of the devastation, Cobra was called and a package was announced in the first few days. This time, as the initial Storm Ciara damage was limited mainly to just the Calder Valley, Cobra was not called, which I do not have an issue with, and no package of support was triggered. The next nine days were like pulling hens’ teeth. In trying to get a response from Government, and after speaking to virtually every Department in Whitehall, it was discovered that the package comes from four or five different Departments.