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Ed Miliband to call for faster flooding insurance claims

Insurance bosses will meet ministers to discuss their response to the flood crisis. Victims have received £14m in emergency payments so far. Ed Miliband will call for faster processing of insurance claims when he too meets industry representatives.

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Hammond: Army 'could have been deployed sooner'

The military could have been brought in earlier to help deal with the winter storms that have been wracking Britain, a Cabinet minister has admitted.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond defended the Government's handling of the crisis.

He said Royal Engineers were now being tasked to carry out a high-speed assessment of "serious" damage to the UK's flood defence infrastructure.

Army help to create a safe access route by the River Parrett, in Burrowbridge, Somerset, last week. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

But Mr Hammond conceded that in future the Government would involve the military earlier in the process, and be more "aggressive" in urging local authorities to use troops.

Mr Hammond said more than 3,000 troops were currently deployed to help and 5,000 more were available if needed.

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