'We're still waiting, Boris': Prime Minister confronted as he visits flood-hit Yorkshire

Boris Johnson has been confronted by a resident who told him of her "heartbreak" at the devastation caused by flooding as he visited a community centre in South Yorkshire.

Billie Troops, who has been part of the volunteer workforce, says passionately: "The people, walking in here yesterday, you didn't see them, little girls from Fishlake with no shoes on their feet, Boris."

She questioned the prime minister's remarks about his flood defences saying: "Is that a promise though Boris? Because you promised us months ago that you were going to give our community £25m to make the community better, for town funds. We're still waiting for it, Boris."

She also said it broke her heart seeing pensioners at the centre.

"The lady, a 78-year-old lady, honestly, it's heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking," she adds.

It was the second time in the matter of an hour that the prime minister came in for an uncomfortable time.

He had earlier visited Stainforth in South Yorkshire, where a woman told him: "I'm not very happy about talking to you so, if you don't mind, I'll just mope on with what I'm doing."

The woman, clutching a wheelbarrow alongside the troops sent to the area to help, said: "You've not helped us up to press," before adding: "I don't know what you're here today for."

As the prime minister delivered a key speech in Coventry, ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand asked the prime minister if he was willing to say sorry to those hit by floods - however Mr Johnson stopped short of issuing an apology.

  • ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand says the flooding could have dented Boris Johnson's popularity at the polls amongst those affected, but it is unlikely to have a wider impact

Mr Johnson arrived in the area as about 200 soldiers began assisting communities cut off by the flooding.

Personnel from the Light Dragoons laid down sandbags in Stainforth near Doncaster, attempting to shore up the village's bridge. They were supplemented later by troops from 2 Royal Anglian.

The Prime Minister was told by one local resident on the bridge over the River Don: "You've took your time Boris, haven't you?"

Mr Johnson told him: "We've been on it round the clock."

Dorothy Whitehead told him: "What's happening then Boris, are you going to get it done for us?"

Mrs Whitehead and her husband Harold described how they had been flooded across the river in Fishlake and said: "We've got no home, we've lost everything and we've got two cars trapped.

"We'd just like to get over there."

Mr Johnson called over Lt Col Tom Robinson, from the Light Dragoons, and asked him if he could help Mr and Mrs Whitehead get to their home.

Rescuers pull a boat through floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

While some residents were clearly upset with the apparent lack of support, others were pleased to see him visit the area.

Mr Johnson said £2,500 would be made available to businesses affected by flooding, while an additional 100 Armed Forces personnel will be deployed to help the recovery effort.

It comes after criticism from opposition leaders over the Government’s response to the issue.

The help comes amid fears that further bad weather could be on the way on Thursday, with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for rain for the whole day covering a vast region from Portsmouth to Hull.

There are 34 flood warnings still in place across England, in locations from Somerset and East Sussex in the South, to as far north as the Lower River Nidd near Harrogate in Yorkshire, and the Holderness Drain in east Yorkshire.

Boris Johnson walks with Lt Col Tom Robinson from the Light Dragoons in Stainforth. Credit: PA

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Mr Johnson said: "I perfectly understand how people feel and you can understand the anguish a flood causes.

"The shock of seeing your property engulfed by water is huge and also the anxiety of what may still be to come and I do thank the emergency services for everything they are doing."

Seven flood alerts are also in place in Wales, where the Met Office is predicting further heavy rain on Wednesday.

A view of the flood water at Fishlake, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Credit: PA

But five severe "danger to life" warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire have been downgraded.

Severe flooding hit several areas in Yorkshire and the East Midlands last week, with parts around the River Don near Doncaster worst affected after the river burst its banks.

Mr Johnson chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra on Tuesday afternoon, as pressure mounted on ministers to take action.

Speaking afterwards, he said the country had to “prepare for more floods” this winter because the ground is so waterlogged.

He said: “The worry for me is that there are some people who are continuing not to listen to the advice of the emergency services.

“I would just say to people – the emergency services do have sound advice. When they advise you to evacuate, you should do so.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arriving at 10 Downing Street to attend the Cobra meeting. Credit: Dominic Lipinski

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said the Government’s action was "too little, too late".

"You can’t trust Boris Johnson to look out for the North or the Midlands or protect our communities from flooding.

"But Labour will provide an extra £5.6 billion in flood defence funding, to level up flood defences over 10 years."

It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the Government’s response as “woeful”, while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said it was not taking it seriously enough.