Government to apply for EU flood funding

The government will apply for funding from the EU. Credit: ITV Border

The government is to apply for funding from the EU to help flood-stricken communities, one day before the deadline.

An urgent question on the EU Solidarity Fund was asked by Alex Cunningham MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the House of Commons today.

The Fund was set up to allow member states ask for help to deal with the effects of a major natural disaster, and around £395 million is available each year.

The government has been criticised by politicians in Cumbria and the south of Scotland for its slowness in applying for the funding.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and leader of the Liberal Democrats, took a petition asking for the government to apply for the funding to Brussels.

He tweeted:

Copeland's Labour MP Jamie Reed had also criticised the government for not applying for the funding:

Calum Kerr MP Credit: PA

In the Commons, Calum Kerr, MP Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, asked why the government had been so slow in applying for the funding. He said "if you've got an insurance policy, why not cash it in?"

James Wharton, of the Department for Communities and Local Government, responded by criticising the speed of the Scottish Government's own response to flooding.