LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday the army would deploy 100 troops in northern England to deal with widespread flooding, after facing criticism from his election rivals over the government’s response.
Conservative leader Johnson, campaigning to remain in Downing Street after next month’s general election, made the decision after chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee.
The move followed Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, urging him in a letter to “take personal charge” of the government’s response to the floods.
Over a month’s worth of rain fell on parts of northern England last Thursday, prompting flooding that killed one woman who was swept away by the deluge and forced some people to evacuate their homes.
“The recent flooding has had a devastating effect on people and businesses, and it’s essential that our communities have the support they need,” Johnson said in a statement announcing the troop deployment and additional funding for impacted areas.
“We’re announcing this funding to support households and businesses get back on their feet.”
With campaigning in full swing ahead of the December 12 election, Corbyn on Tuesday visited victims of the flooding in the county of Yorkshire, where the River Don has burst its banks and caused widespread misery.
He previously criticised Johnson’s decision not to declare a national emergency over the weekend, which would have released the funding then.