PM ignored flood victims in favour of Mandela tributes, says Tory council leader (From Essex County Standard)
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PM ignored flood victims in favour of Mandela tributes, says Tory council leader
6:00am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
THE Tory leader of Tendring Council has lambasted Prime Minister David Cameron for his “disinterest” in the flooding that saw hundreds of homes in Essex evacuated.
Peter Halliday has written to Mr Cameron accusing him of a lack of compassion to people who suffered during the flooding on Thursday night.
Mr Halliday is angry Mr Cameron was more interested in being interviewed about the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela.
He has also written to the BBC, ITV and Sky News to say he was disgusted the flooding coverage was snubbed in favour of Mandela’s death.
In a letter to Mr Cameron, he said: “It appears the sad demise of Nelson Mandela was more important to you than the well-being of the residents in your own country.
“While you were giving a late night press conference outside Number 10, your fellow countrymen were being evacuated from their homes not knowing if the daylight hours would bring homelessness or loss of life to a loved one.
“To not mention your concern for their welfare during your tribute to Nelson Mandela was at best insensitive and at worst insulting.
“Many of your residents up and down the country were in fear of their lives and in danger of losing their little bit of England to the sea.”
Mr Halliday said although the cost to life during the flooding had been small, the financial cost to residents, the council and the emergency services was considerable.
A spokesman for Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister was kept constantly updated last week on the storms and their aftermath.
“He was in close touch with environment secretary Owen Paterson, who chaired a series of Cobra meetings to make sure the Government was doing everything it could to help people in the affected areas.
“The Prime Minister visited Wells-next-the-Sea Monday morning to hear first-hand from local people whose homes and businesses were damaged during the floods and speak to the emergency services and other first responders who worked to keep people safe through the storms.
“But the Prime Minister also has to deal with numerous national and international issues and paying tribute to a global hero like Nelson Mandela last week was entirely appropriate.”
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