Pickles: 'There might have been a problem at the start'

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."

Read more: Government announces extra £30m for emergency flood repairs

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Pickles: 'Might have been a problem' over floods response

The Communities and Local Government Secretary has appeared to suggest the Government and authorities may have been slow to react to the problem of the flooding. Ministers have announced an extra £30m for emergency repairs - £130m in total.