Statistics watchdog: 'Flood defence spending cut by £247m'

The head of the UK's statistics watchdog has contradicted the Government's claim on record levels of spending on flood defences and called for official figures to be published "in the public interest", the Guardian reports.

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Statistics watchdog 'calls for flood spending figures'

The head of the UK Statistics Authority has contradicted the government's claim on record spending for flood defences, and called for official figures to be published "in the public interest" the Guardian reports.

A man pull a boat in Somerset during the flooding that engulfed thousands of homes in January and February. Credit: Press Association

Sir Andrew Dilnot made the call following a bitter row between Labour and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson on flood defence funding. The issue is due to be debated in the House of Commons today.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Civil Engineers called for flooding defence budgets to return to pre-2010 levels, and said the government needs to commit to a longer-term investment beyond the current five-year programme.

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