Council leader hits out at PM over flood response

A TOWN Hall boss has lambasted Prime Minister David Cameron for his “disinterest” in the flooding that saw thousands evacuated from Tendring’s coastline.

Tendring Council leader Peter Halliday launched a blistering attack on the Tory party leader for snubbing the victims who suffered during last Thursday night's floods.

Mr Halliday was furious that Mr Cameron was more interested in being interviewed about the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela as a huge storm surge threatened to engulf thousands of homes.

The Conservative councillor has also written to BBC director general Tony Hall as well as ITV and Sky News to highlight his “disgust” that the events were “snubbed” in favour of blanket coverage of the death of Mr Mandela.

Mr Halliday said he was “hugely disappointed” at Mr Cameron’s “apparent disinterest and lack of compassion”.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, he added: “It appears that the sad demise of Nelson Mandela was more important to you than the well-being of the residents in your own country.

“Whilst 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."

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 on 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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