Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:34 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 2:34 pm, 4th March 2020

There is a slight irony in the politicisation at the beginning of the debate, because many of us in west Kent will remember the floods in 2000, after which the then Labour Government did absolutely nothing about the bursting of the River Medway and the flooding of many areas of Tonbridge and west Kent. My first experience of flooding was as a community representative—not yet an MP, but the Conservative candidate in Tonbridge and Malling—in 2013. That Christmas was ruined for many when the Medway again burst its banks. Since then, I have been able to report some pretty good news, because we have had some serious investment. We have had investment in the Leigh flood storage area and work done by the EA upstream in Penshurst. There is more to do, but we have seen good action and a lot of work to protect our towns and villages.

I remind Opposition Members that the Conservative party has done more to protect residents from flooding than any other party. I have spoken to those affected by flooding, and they care about us ensuring that it does not happen again, not point scoring. I hope we will stick to planning, which is exactly what this Government are doing. I am sure that Members on both sides of the House remember the River Medway (Flood Relief) Act 1976.