PM ignored flood victims in favour of Mandela tributes, says Tory council leader

Essex County Standard: Peter Halliday Peter Halliday

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.”

Comments (10)

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9:22am Wed 11 Dec 13

jim_bo says...

There's a man speaking the truth, fortunately BBC local radio went berserk bringing all the latest from across the county.

Shame on you Prime Minister, BBC and Sky!
There's a man speaking the truth, fortunately BBC local radio went berserk bringing all the latest from across the county. Shame on you Prime Minister, BBC and Sky! jim_bo

9:46am Wed 11 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

Well done the PM. We have too much focus on local news - international events which changed history was far more important.

(And we don't know what he did behind the scenes - it just wasn't newsworthy when such an important event as Mandela's death was being covered.)

I view this complaint as miserable...
Well done the PM. We have too much focus on local news - international events which changed history was far more important. (And we don't know what he did behind the scenes - it just wasn't newsworthy when such an important event as Mandela's death was being covered.) I view this complaint as miserable... Jack222

10:27am Wed 11 Dec 13

RonnieClegg says...

No, it wasn't miserable. It is entirely justified. The BBC went way over the top on Mandela on the Thursday night, breaking into programmes 15 minutes before the scheduled 10pm news and waffling for the next hour - knocking Look East, which many were waiting for for updates on the flooding, off its scheduled time. The death of Nelson Mandela was highly newsworthy, certainly, but given that it had been expected for months was hardly a shock. On a night where there was an unfolding drama taking place at home (though of course, not in London...) the decision not to treat the floods more seriously on the night, and the day after, was lamentable. Well done to the Gazette for its overnight coverage, too.
And we shouldn't expect better from the PM - he joins a long list of politicians who would prefer to preen and posture on the world stage - where they can sound statesmanlike and make promises that will never be kept – instead of actually doing something at home.
No, it wasn't miserable. It is entirely justified. The BBC went way over the top on Mandela on the Thursday night, breaking into programmes 15 minutes before the scheduled 10pm news and waffling for the next hour - knocking Look East, which many were waiting for for updates on the flooding, off its scheduled time. The death of Nelson Mandela was highly newsworthy, certainly, but given that it had been expected for months was hardly a shock. On a night where there was an unfolding drama taking place at home (though of course, not in London...) the decision not to treat the floods more seriously on the night, and the day after, was lamentable. Well done to the Gazette for its overnight coverage, too. And we shouldn't expect better from the PM - he joins a long list of politicians who would prefer to preen and posture on the world stage - where they can sound statesmanlike and make promises that will never be kept – instead of actually doing something at home. RonnieClegg

11:07am Wed 11 Dec 13

tomtheDJ says...

well two of you talked some sence, while Jack talked utter rubbish.
lets be honest mandela was a terrorist of the first order, his first wife even worse.
he WAS caught, sentanced, then jailed.
he was an educated man so knew exactly just what he was doing when carrying out his regime.
he was also strong enough while away to realise murdering innocent victims was not the way forewards in a war between his own kind.
sadly he came to the end of his life, as all of us will do one day.
well two of you talked some sence, while Jack talked utter rubbish. lets be honest mandela was a terrorist of the first order, his first wife even worse. he WAS caught, sentanced, then jailed. he was an educated man so knew exactly just what he was doing when carrying out his regime. he was also strong enough while away to realise murdering innocent victims was not the way forewards in a war between his own kind. sadly he came to the end of his life, as all of us will do one day. tomtheDJ

11:09am Wed 11 Dec 13

tomtheDJ says...

Oh, It never flooded in My part of Jaywick, so lets get facts correct !!
Oh, It never flooded in My part of Jaywick, so lets get facts correct !! tomtheDJ

11:20am Wed 11 Dec 13

Jess Jephcott says...

He makes a good point. The need to be 'seen' internationally by our leaders does seem to take priority over the more mundane affairs at home. A few people's homes flooding? They should have bought a house that was above the flood level? I hope that Mr Cameron makes up for this when he can find some time.
He makes a good point. The need to be 'seen' internationally by our leaders does seem to take priority over the more mundane affairs at home. A few people's homes flooding? They should have bought a house that was above the flood level? I hope that Mr Cameron makes up for this when he can find some time. Jess Jephcott

12:07pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Scoot says...

Oh come on Jess do you think anyone senior in the Westminster village actually cares about East Anglia ?? I think most of their private schools must have had atlases where the crease was just East of Chelmsford and the right hand page was ripped out ! (think same goes for the Greater Anglia trains as well.....).
With you Tom, will be interesting to see what happens when Martin McGuiness or Gerry Adams dies, will the BBC spend hours and hours spouting on about their fight for freedom ??
Oh come on Jess do you think anyone senior in the Westminster village actually cares about East Anglia ?? I think most of their private schools must have had atlases where the crease was just East of Chelmsford and the right hand page was ripped out ! (think same goes for the Greater Anglia trains as well.....). With you Tom, will be interesting to see what happens when Martin McGuiness or Gerry Adams dies, will the BBC spend hours and hours spouting on about their fight for freedom ?? Scoot

2:27am Thu 12 Dec 13

Boris says...

tomtheDJ wrote:
well two of you talked some sence, while Jack talked utter rubbish.
lets be honest mandela was a terrorist of the first order, his first wife even worse.
he WAS caught, sentanced, then jailed.
he was an educated man so knew exactly just what he was doing when carrying out his regime.
he was also strong enough while away to realise murdering innocent victims was not the way forewards in a war between his own kind.
sadly he came to the end of his life, as all of us will do one day.
Tom, your comments about Nelson Mandela are contemptible. But I suppose this is what we must expect from a dyed-in-the-wool Tory. Nye Bevan was right - all you Tories are lower than vermin.
[quote][p][bold]tomtheDJ[/bold] wrote: well two of you talked some sence, while Jack talked utter rubbish. lets be honest mandela was a terrorist of the first order, his first wife even worse. he WAS caught, sentanced, then jailed. he was an educated man so knew exactly just what he was doing when carrying out his regime. he was also strong enough while away to realise murdering innocent victims was not the way forewards in a war between his own kind. sadly he came to the end of his life, as all of us will do one day.[/p][/quote]Tom, your comments about Nelson Mandela are contemptible. But I suppose this is what we must expect from a dyed-in-the-wool Tory. Nye Bevan was right - all you Tories are lower than vermin. Boris

2:29am Thu 12 Dec 13

Boris says...

Jack222 wrote:
Well done the PM. We have too much focus on local news - international events which changed history was far more important.

(And we don't know what he did behind the scenes - it just wasn't newsworthy when such an important event as Mandela's death was being covered.)

I view this complaint as miserable...
Well said, Jack. I often disagree with you but I can see your heart is in the right place.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Well done the PM. We have too much focus on local news - international events which changed history was far more important. (And we don't know what he did behind the scenes - it just wasn't newsworthy when such an important event as Mandela's death was being covered.) I view this complaint as miserable...[/p][/quote]Well said, Jack. I often disagree with you but I can see your heart is in the right place. Boris

6:10pm Thu 12 Dec 13

jaceylacey says...

I agree with Jack. As soon as Mandela died it was if the floods didn't exist, Who cares about a terrorist dying of old age?
I agree with Jack. As soon as Mandela died it was if the floods didn't exist, Who cares about a terrorist dying of old age? jaceylacey

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