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Alan Whitehead accuses PM of 'fiddling while the country floods'
A Southampton MP has accused the Prime Minister of “effectively abandoning” attempts to strike a deal with insurers on future cover for households.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Alan Whitehead, the Labour MP for Southampton Test, said people were worried about whether their homes would be covered when the current arrangement runs out in June.
It follows severe flooding in recent weeks which has hit parts of Hampshire over the past month.
Dr Whitehead asked: “Why is the Prime Minister fiddling while the country floods?”
Responding, David Cameron said: “The discussions are still under way. They have made very good progress. “I am confident that we will reach an agreement.”
The Prime Minister said he had seen the effects of flooding in his own Oxfordshire constituency, adding that the Government had put in an extra £120m for flood defences.
Police shut roads in Wallington and evacuated homes as rising water levels threatened to overwhelm flood defences.
Many villagers spoke of their fears about whether they would be able to re-insure their homes against flooding if the Government failed to reach an agreement with insurers.
Insurers have called on the Government to provide a temporary overdraft facility to pay claims for 200,000 high-risk households in the event of serious flooding.
They have accused ministers of rejecting the proposals.
But Floods Minister Richard Benyon has insisted the Government remains “determined” to reach a deal and that it was a “priority” for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.