- 25 updates
Number 10 has issued a statement from the Prime Minister about this evening's meeting between ministers and officials about the extreme weather:
Labour leader Ed Miliband has said that both the planning and the response to the floods was inadequate, saying: "the Government has been slack in planning and slow to help those affected"
Mr Miliband also called on David Cameron to "do what he promised what he would do at the end of last month and tell the country whether the right investment in flood protection is in place."
The Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said he "entirely agreed" with Prince Charles's criticism about authorities' response to the floods.
He said: "I think people were surprised...but as soon as were alerted by the authorities we acted promptly."
However, Mr Pickles would not be drawn in to if it were the Government or the Environment Agency who 'took so long' to react to the floods.
Earlier this week Prince Charles said the "tragedy" in flood-hit Somerset "is that nothing happened for so long" to help as he met local residents, farmers and emergency services personnel who have been affected.
The Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith has said he is sure he will "hear robust views" during his visit to flood-hit Somerset tomorrow.
He added: "I'll be glad to hear robust views because it's very important that the people who are immediately affected by flooding get the chance to say what their concerns are."
Transport Secretary has called for a review of the long term future of the south west railway system.
Patrick McLoughlin said: "The immediate priority is to assess the damage and develop a plan to get the line back into service as soon as possible.
"But I am acutely conscious that the need to develop a long-term solution to the resilience of the railway network in the south west, and I have asked for a report to me on the options for addressing this problem."
David Cameron has defended his decision to not visit Somerset during the latest round of floods.
He said that following his visit to the region after Christmas he would go again when the "time is right."
The Chair of the Environment Agency Lord Smith will visit Somerset tomorrow:
The Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has appeared to suggest that the Government and authorities may have been slow to react to the problem of the flooding.
Speaking to Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship, Mr Pickles said the Government "responded promptly and quickly to the Somerset authorities' request."
He added: "I don't mind that there might have been a problem at the beginning. Maybe there was a problem of communications.
"I neither know nor I care. What I care about is doing something about the Somerset Levels."
Mr Pickles has taken charge of the government's response to flooding after the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson required emergency eye surgery.
He blamed the Environment Agency for failing to dredge rivers. "I certainly believe that perhaps the decision taken regard to abandonment of dredging perhaps wasn't the wisest."
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that Britain's spending on foreign aid should be diverted to help deal with the flooding crisis in the UK.
He said: "Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that a government's primary duty is to the well-being of its own citizens."
Describing the government's response as "both lethargic and inadequate," he said people "would be forgiven for thinking that ... ordinary British families are not their priority."
George Osborne has said the Government will be "on the case" of dealing with the problems of potential future storms.
The Chancellor said David Cameron chaired a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra yesterday to discuss the weather conditions.