Eustice: PM "regularly informed" about floods
Following criticism that the prime minister was not visiting flood-affected areas around the UK; environment secretary George Eustice has defended the government's response and pledged a substantial amount of money to flood defences.
Eustice, who visited the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Shrewsbury on February 27, stated that Boris Johnson wanted him to "take the lead on [the floods]".
In his Ironbridge visit, he also reiterated that the £4 billion flood defence fund pledged in 2019 would be spent in the coming five years.
Mr Eustice said: "The prime minister when he appointed me two weeks ago made it clear he wanted me to lead on this.
"We discussed Storm Dennis that was coming that weekend.... discussed our response.
"I've kept him regularly informed with what's happening; the important thing is have we made the decisions in a timely way? And I think the answer is yes.
"We'll be spending over £4 billion in the next five years on flood defences.
"Some of that is going to be on nature-based solutions upstream to try to hold water uphill so vulnerable communities like this on the Severn are less likely to be affected, but there will also be some hard defences put in place as well."
Mr Eustice was appointed environment secretary on February 13, 2020, replacing Theresa Villiers. He has been the MP for Camborne and Redruth since 2010 and is a former PR executive.