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Nigel Farage of UKIP in flooded Somerset to see Burrowbridge

By IanMat  |  Posted: February 09, 2014

  • Nigel Farage of UKIP has trumped David Cameron, Prince Charles and certainly Environment Secretary Owen Paterson by wearing waders to flooded Burrowbridge Photo: Jason Bryant

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UKIP leader Nigel Farage is in Burrowbridge this morning - the latest in a line of high profile political figures to visit flooded Somerset.

The visit comes after UKIP called for the Government to divert funds from foreign aid to British flood victims.

Mr Farage's South West trip follows in the footsteps - or welly steps - of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, Prince Charles, Lord Chris Smith of the Environment Agency and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Farage has told Sky News' Dermot Murnaghan this morning from Burrowbridge: "We don't know what's happened her there appears to be a large amount of money spent in Exeter and here they have stopped dredging.

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"We need a public inquiry about how we are managing the rivers in this country as we are clearly not getting it right.

"The public inquiry I call for is to look overall at this country at how we manage rivers and to what extent we are doing it ourselves and how we are following EU laws."

Mr Farage dismissed climate change as the cause of the Somerset floods and said it was "just the weather".

UKIP is calling for hundreds of millions of pounds of monthly spending to be taken from the Department For International Development on a month by month basis and switched to flood relief, repairing storm damage to property, replacing obliterated flood defences and restoring the transport network including rail links.

David Cameron’s pledge of £100 million extra spending was described by UKIP leader Nigel Farage as “far too little, far too late”.

The MEP said: “Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that a government’s primary duty is to the well-being of its own citizens. Charity begins at home and it is not mean-spirited to say that, it is just basic common sense.

“The amount of damage caused by the floods and storms across a large swathe of the south west and other regions too is colossal. Yet the Government’s response is both lethargic and inadequate. People would be forgiven for thinking that they don’t really care and that ordinary British families are not their priority."

It is rumoured that Mr Farage will not make the same mistake Mr Paterson did and visit the area in smart black shoes. And he may go one-up on Mr Cameron and Prince Charles and be seen in waders.

We will bring you more news and photos about Mr Farage's visit later this morning.

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  • jerrybabe  |  February 09 2014, 11:40PM

    I'd be curious to see what the 'milk mountain,' mentioned by Mummygirl50 might look like?... She, like Mr UKIP, complains about automatically blaming the flooding on climate change - his comment "it's just the weather" made me smile in its naivety. However the EU, which is seen popularly in the UK as a bunch of foreign bureaucrats plotting to lay to waste and then take over the country, is always fair game. I would suggest that you get somebody who knows the problem well to take a long hard look at the nature of the flooding. Dutch land reclamation engineers have centuries of experience and expertise in this field. You should invite some of them over to take a long term view of the flooding and suggest a long term solution. It seems obvious that the British authorities are, I suggest, out of their depth...

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  • handyandy_1  |  February 09 2014, 8:04PM

    Suggest Mummygirl50 tries looking at the real world. EU blurb would not have stopped the flooding here on the levels. Neither would dredging, however at least dredging would allow water to be pumped/flow away quicker when the tide permits. Have just got back from pumping station where EA is installing two large pumps, though ironically although the water level in the rhyne is about as high as I've ever seen it, it is still too shallow for the pumps to run at full speed (as they cause whirlpools which draw air into the pumps which then have to slow down!). So, once things have dried up a bit and the politicos have swanned off to spout platitudes to some other victims elsewhere, will we see a comprehensive plan of dredging, sea defenses, tidal gates etc, or just some bloke with a digger shifting some mud around so the EA management can say they've done something? Perhaps they'll do some dredging like they did about 12 years ago: use a jcb to push the mud into the river for the tide to carry it away, only for the next incoming tide to bring most of it back! Oh well, better start getting my ark built.

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  • Mummygirl50  |  February 09 2014, 1:35PM

    Beverley Stein If we'd have had some snow at xmas then I'm certain things would be much drier. But I feel sorry for those in Somerset. Because being in the EEC has made it worse for them. By having to have set aside land rules and they must only have certain types of animals on their farm lands has also made it a lot worse. We plant trees in hill sides to stop eroding soil. And crops force farmers to keep tilling and ploughing the soil over large areas of land thus assisting with lots of drainage. Animals such as sheep on good quality arable land is also daft when better suited to dairy herds. But the EEC stipulates rules far more in the favour of France a rather 8 times larger Farm filled country. So they get to virtually monopolise the crop growing. Instead they create milk mountains mixing together milk from all over the EEC. Not just one country. And pay the greedy British and rich Liberal/Conservative land owners shed loads of subsidies. Which suites them just fine. And keeps them promoting their parties to stay in the EEC. But if they did and were still forced to grow crops then they'd moan as they'd get poorer whilst the locals homes would flood a lot less. The animal waste(poo) is good as fertiliser on the land for crops. Instead it gets dumped often in the run offs or streams which become silted up rivers which cause MORE flooding problems. I hope you can understand my rant here. But I think we need to be aware that just peddling global change is rather too easy to hide behind for the EEC stupid rules. 5 minutes ago · Like Beverley Stein Ploughing land is happening a lot less now in the UK. Because of the EEC rules for the French farmers mostly.The richer British farmers get given massive subsidies not to plough the land. It serves them right if their land has now flooded. It's the local people I feel most sorry for. But the greedy farmers know exactly what they have done.

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  • Barri  |  February 09 2014, 11:55AM

    Others sleep - UKIP.

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