Corbyn accused of exploiting Britain’s flood misery with Boris attack

His swipe came after the Labour leader savaged Boris Johnson for failing to tour areas damaged by the deluge. Mr Corbyn said that the Prime Minister, who has been working in Downing Street and at the Chevening Houser grace-and-favour residence in Kent,  should “go and talk” to families dealing with the aftermath of flooding.

Mr Eustice said: “Jeremy Corbyn shouldn’t be trying to politicise the floods, he should be backing the government’s move to support and work with emergency personnel who are working tirelessly to help everyone affected.

“We are investing £2.6 billion in flood defences, which have already protected 200,000 properties that would otherwise have been caught out by flooding. We know there is more to do – which is why our manifesto committed us to an additional £4 billion for flood defences and today we’ve set out new measures to help the communities directly affected.”

Senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, added: “When a Prime Minister, or even an MP turns up, it actually acts as a distraction.”

Mr Corbyn went into the homes of several residents living in Wordsworth Gardens, Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd yesterday.

He said the Government should have convened the emergency committee Cobra to oversee the response to the flooding.

“Sadly, I’m not surprised but I do think that it’s the duty of the Prime Minister to be there in places where there are difficulties, whether there is an election or not,” he said.

“And I’ve come today, not to interfere with any recovery work, but just to listen to people and hear their experiences, and it’s heart-breaking.

“People have told me about the photos they’ve lost, the furniture that has been damaged and things they’ve saved up for and that very few people have any insurance cover at all because they can’t get insurance cover because they’re in the flood risk area.

“And that is an area of national policy that’s got to be looked at.”

Asked if he had a message for the Prime Minister, Mr Corbyn said: “Go and visit people, go and talk to them, go and see what it’s like when you’ve got sewage water in your kitchen, go see what it’s like when you lose all your personal possessions and just think about that.

“Think how you would feel if your house was flooded.”

Mr Corbyn added: “You can only feel sympathy and empathy for them because you are in your home, you’re asleep and you hear a loud bang and you don’t know what it is.

“Then you go outside and see the walls have been pushed down by floodwater and floodwater is coming into your home.

“One lady was telling me that her 18-year old son went out in the flood and managed to find the flood defence barrier and stick it up, which didn’t stop all the water getting in but helped save a lot of things in their house.

“Another told me how they kicked out a piece of fence in order to get their children out.

“People support each other. It’s the sense of strength of a community where everybody does know each other and does talk to each other.

“Surely the message here from South Wales for the whole of the UK is strong communities do things together.”

Mr Corbyn was accompanied on the visit by Councillor Maureen Webber, who represents the area on Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, Mick Antoniw, local Assembly Member, and Christina Rees MP, shadow secretary of state for Wales.

Selena Adamiec, 36, told Mr Corbyn how she woke at 3am after hearing a massive “explosion” of the floodwater destroying a nearby wall.

“I’ve been here a year and have just finished decorating, that’s the sickening thing,” she said.

“I can’t thank you all enough. I have been on my own here with my son and the community has come together and that gets you through this.”

Another resident, Richard Oliver, 43, told Mr Corbyn how a couple of local residents cleared a nearby culvert of debris which allowed the floodwater to escape – otherwise it could have been worse.

“The force of the water was so strong, it was like something out of one of those disaster films,” Mr Oliver said.

“When the wall came down, it was a such a bang, and I managed to get up and get the floodgate up just in time.

“We just lost the carpets and managed to get the floodgate up in time. We are a lot more fortunate than other people.”

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