Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle has called on Defra to explain how cuts to the Environment Agency, which it funds, will not have an "adverse impact" on communities at risk of flooding.
[Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has] failed to prioritise investment in flood defences, nor explained how communities at risk from flooding will not be adversely impacted by major reductions in Environment Agency staff, despite evidence that extreme weather conditions are set to become more frequent.
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Ms Leadsom has received the backing of Ian Duncan Smith, the former work and pensions secretary.
The former shadow work and pensions secretary is considered a more viable candidate than Angela Eagle, a Labour source has told ITV News.
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