The embattled chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, has claimed that the agency is being "used as a political football for a good media story" in the recent flooding.
He was responding to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles' comments in an interview in which he suggested the government had "relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice".
Writing in the Guardian, Lord Smith says it is "government rules – laid down by successive governments, Labour and Tory – that are at the heart of the problem".
Using the Somerset Levels as an example, he says that government rules prevent his agency assigning more than £400,000 to the area.
The chairman of the Environment Agency said he would not be drawn into "silly little games" after comments by local Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger.
Mr Liddell-Grainger described Lord Smith as a "coward" and a "little git" ahead of his visit.
Background: Somerset MP furious at 'little git' Lord Smith
Speaking to ITV News Westcountry Lord Smith said:
"Mr Liddell-Grainger uses colourful language a lot of the time. I'm not going to play silly games like that, there's much more important things to be doing. Concentrating on what we can do seriously for the future protect of the Somerset Levels."
Watch the full interview with Lord Smith on the ITV News Westcountry website.
A man who had built a giant wall out of clay and soil around his son's house in the village of Moorland to stem rising flood waters has called on Lord Smith to "chuck that red tape out the window."
Joe Notaro said: "That man on top wants to get his act together and chuck the red tape out the window."
He added: "They're wasting money on all these reports, they want to get real. We've trying to save the birds..badgers, rabbits....what we want to do is save our village."
Large waves and strong winds are threatening to cause further significant flooding along the Devon and Dorset coasts tomorrow where some communities and defences are vulnerable after this week’s storms.
Further heavy rainfall is expected starting this evening continuing into Saturday, exacerbating the risks of flooding from rivers and surface water across the south west, central and south east of England.
Chair of the agency Lord Smith said: "This weekend will see no respite in the extreme weather and I urge people especially in southern England to be prepared for further flooding and to sign up to Environment Agency flood warnings.”
Find out more on the Environment Agency website
The chairman of the Environment Agency has expressed "sincere sympathies" but has still not apologised to those who have been flooded.
Residents have said the agency is responsible for the extent of the floods due to for not dredging rivers.
Local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, who represents Bridgwater and West Somerset, described Lord Smith as a "coward" and a "little git" ahead of his meeting with flooded residents today.
He said: "I will tell him what I bloody well think of him - he should go, he should walk. I'm livid. This little git has never even been on the telephone to me.
"When I find out where he is, I will give it to him. He has not told the local MPs, the local council or the local press where he is going to be.
"He's a coward."
Jim Winkworth, a farmer and landlord of the King Alfred pub in the village of Burrowbridge, said he was "bloody mad" after a meeting with Lord Smith.
Asked how he felt by the Environment Agency chief's refusal to apologise, he said: "Bloody mad. We thought that's the least he could do today and he's not apologising or admitting any liability."
Speaking of Lord Smith's successor when he is due to stand down in the summer, Mr Winkworth said: "Whoever gets his job needs to be someone who is prepared to listen to people on the ground and actually kick some arse, get some work done and actually do some dredging and maintain structures".
Lord Smith reportedly told residents that it had set aside £400,000 for dredging but that this was not enough and there was "no point starting a job and not finishing it".
Speaking on a visit to the Somerset Levels, the chairman of the Environment Agency Lord Smith said:
The chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, has arrived in Somerset to meet residents affected by the flooding.
Speaking to reporters at a Wetlands Visitor Centre in Stoke St Gregory, he said he was very proud of his staff's work in recent months.
"We have been faced with the most extreme weather that we have seen for years," he said.