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Cameron quizzed on flood defences

David Cameron has been asked to substantiate his claim that the Government has “protected” the flood defence budget.

Cameron was challenged over cuts to flood defence at Prime Minister’s Questions, and stated that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would be spending more than £2.1bn on flood and coastal erosion risk management over the next four years.

He told MPs that it equated to “roughly the same” as Labour allocated during the previous four years.

However, Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “In the light of the dreadful floods in Cornwall the Prime Minister said that spending on flood protection was going to be protected in the comprehensive spending review.

“I understand there is going to be cuts of up to 28% in the flood protection budget.”

The Labour member called for a debate on flood defences “so the Prime Minister’s statement can be corrected”.

Commons leader Sir George Young told her: “The statistics which my right honourable friend gave were correct.

“If you were listening to the Today programme you would have heard the chairman of the Environment Agency confirm that those were indeed the figures for the four-year period concerned.”

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