British PM confronted by angry flood victim

December 28, 2013 - 5:26:10 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) talks with residents and environment agency workers in the village of Yalding in Kent, Britain, yesterday, during a visit after storms caused flooding across Britain.

LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron was yesterday confronted by an angry victim of the floods and storms that have blighted Christmas celebrations for thousands of people in Britain.

Cameron was visiting the village of Yalding in Kent, southeast England, which has been badly flooded, when the unnamed woman told him in a heated on-camera exchange that she had been left stranded in her home without electricity.

She said: “We still have no electric. We need electric. As I say, the council, from Monday, we have been trying to contact them, but they have all decided to go on their holidays. Nothing.”

The prime minister appeared rattled and tried to defuse the situation by promising to contact the local council himself.

Days of heavy rain have caused many rivers in southern England to burst their banks.

After visiting another house in the village that was also damaged by flooding, Cameron said: “Look at this man’s house, I was just talking to. That was a flood barrier he got after 2000 — quite a high flood barrier.

“But this was such a massive flood the water went over the flood barrier and into the house.”

The floods were “tragic events”, he said, but he pledged that the authorities “have got to do more and we have got to do better”.

Gales and rain returned to Britain on Thursday, causing fresh disruption to transport and the power network.

Around 13,000 homes were still without power across Britain, the Energy Networks Association said.

Engineers have been working to restore power after 50,000 homes were left without electricity on Christmas Day. Power lines were brought down by storms.

Low-lying parts of the London commuter belt towns of Dorking, Leatherhead, Guildford, Godalming and Tonbridge have been particularly badly flooded.

AFP

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