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‘Work together’ to tackle floods – Clegg

The UK is set to be hit with further floods, with heavy rain and gale force winds forecast in a number of areas across the country. Hundreds more homes could be flooded over the coming days and the rail network has been severely damaged.

Prime minister David Cameron is visiting affected communities and has given his backing to the Environment Agency chief executive, Lord Smith, who came under political fire this weekend from communities secretary Eric Pickles.

Critics of the argument have called for the government to focus on protecting people from further floods, and not to cast blame in the middle of an emergency. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg stated that everyone would have to work together to manage the extreme weather.

The River Thames has risen to record levels, threatening homes across its banks, and pumping continues on the Somerset Levels. Members of the armed forces are also deploying sandbags and improving flood defences in Somerset.

Trains are having to run at a reduced speed between London Paddington and Reading, with journey times being extended by up to an hour, due to flooding near Maidenhead.

And First Great Western is currently advising passengers not to travel.

Clegg said: “We’re pulling out every single stop that we can in Whitehall through the COBR meeting system to make sure that every bit of government works to deal with this problem. The government needs to strain every sinew, as we now are.

“And we need to work together, that’s the key thing: the military, the police, the emergency services, the farming community, everyday families, everybody needs to work together.”

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