Owen Paterson went on to praise the under-fire Environment Agency for its response to widespread flooding:
Since the start of last December, the UK as a whole has experienced a period of exceptionally unsettled weather and there is no sign at present of its abating.
Many parts of the country have been subjected to flooding from the sea, rivers, surface water or groundwater, and I am extremely grateful for the excellent response by the emergency services, the Environment Agency and flood forecasting centre staff and the leadership shown by many local authorities in responding to the floods.
More top news
France Foreign Minister called for the action after a meeting the six European foreign ministers in Berlin.
He said that he would put himself forward if a fresh contest is held amid growing calls for him to stand down within the party.
Pet owners and cat lovers are being warned to stay on high alert after the so-called Croydon Cat Killer appeared to strike in another city.