Residents along Thames prepare for more flooding

The Environment Agency has warned communities along the River Thames throughout Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire of the risk of further flooding, after it burst its banks. There are currently more than 70 flood warnings in place.

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Environment Secretary 'not been seen for days'

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson accused power companies of letting too many staff go on holiday over the Christmas period. Credit: PA Wire

Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle criticised Environment Secretary Owen Paterson for "pointing the finger" at energy workers after he accused power companies of letting too many staff go on holiday over the Christmas period.

She said: "As the country faces more severe weather, households that went a week without power and suffered devastating flooding expect to see some action from ministers at long last, not attempts to pass the buck.

"Of course the energy companies must explain why it took so long to get power restored, but Owen Paterson has a nerve pointing the finger at staff being on holiday when he himself has not been seen for days.

"The Environment Secretary has his own questions to answer about his failure to prioritise flood defence investment and deliver the vital flood reinsurance scheme on time, leaving homes without affordable insurance until 2015 and, even then, excluding many properties at risk."

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