Over the last week, the north of England has been devastated by severe flooding.
Hundreds have been evacuated from their homes and one person has died.
But according to Boris Johnson, this major flooding across swathes of England is not a “national emergency”.
The prime minister made the comments in Matlock, Derbyshire, near where a woman died after being swept away after a river breached its banks.
Johnson said the government had set aside billions for flood defences and preparations due to an increase in serious flooding “perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change”.
You’ve got to face the reality that places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it.
It is not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency.
The North and the Midlands have all seen torrential rain and flooding over the past few days, with some areas seeing a month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.
By contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the flooding as a sign of a “climate and environment emergency”.
Flooding isn’t a natural disaster – it’s human-made. Not only are the government’s plans to tackle the climate emergency weak, they’ve failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention and Tory cuts have stretched emergency services to breaking point.
Corbyn took to Twitter to rebuff Johnson’s claim that the flooding wasn’t a national emergency.
The Labour leader wasn’t the only one to express this sentiment.
Lots of people suspected that, had the floods affected the south of England or London, a national emergency would have been called days ago.