'You've not helped us': Boris Johnson accused as army sent to flood-hit areas

Lucia Binding, news reporter

The army has arrived to help with severe flooding in South Yorkshire as Boris Johnson was accused of doing nothing to help flood victims.

Around 80 soldiers from the Light Dragoons have begun laying down sandbags in the town of Stainforth, with 20 other areas in South Yorkshire also in need of their help.

A further 80 soldiers from the Royal Anglians are heading to the region later today.

During a visit to Stainforth, the prime minister was accused of doing little to help flood victims by one resident.

The woman, clutching a wheelbarrow alongside the troops sent to the area, told him: "I'm not very happy about talking to you so, if you don't mind, I'll just mope on with what I'm doing.

"You've not helped us up to press. I don't know what you're here today for."

Another resident told him: "You've took your time Boris, haven't you?", to which Mr Johnson replied: "We've been on it round the clock."

Mr Johnson denied underestimating the impact of the floods, telling reporters: "If you look at what's been happening since the flooding began there's been round-the-clock monitoring of the situation both at a local and national emergency."

Asked about the his response to the flooding at a news conference, the PM said the government "stands ready to support in any way we can".

"Nobody can underestimate the trauma of being hit by a flood," Mr Johnson added.

"The anguish of people who suffer flooding is terrible.

"We are compensating with funds for homeowners, funds for households and also funds for businesses as well.

"We stand ready to ensure that where there are gaps in the insurance, or there are problems with the insurance, then we will sort it out."

Help from the army comes as further bad weather could be on the way on Thursday, with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for rain covering a vast region from Portsmouth to Hull.

There are 34 flood warnings still in place across England, from Somerset and East Sussex in the south, as well as the Lower River Nidd near Harrogate in Yorkshire and the Holderness Drain in east Yorkshire.

Seven flood alerts are also in place in Wales, however five severe "danger to life" warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire have been downgraded.

There may be possible travel disruptions from late afternoon across South Wales and parts of South West England.

Mr Johnson also warned there could be more flooding across the country this winter as rain continues.

On Tuesday, he said relief funding would be made available for those affected by the floods.

His announcement comes amid criticism of the government's response to the flooding by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Johnson said funding for local councils to aid affected households would be made available at £500 per eligible household.

Meanwhile, up to £2,500 would be made available for small to medium-sized businesses which have been impacted by the floods, and which are not covered by insurance.

"The worry for me is that there are some people who are continuing not to listen to the advice of the emergency services," he said.

"I would just say to people - the emergency services do have sound advice. When they advise you to evacuate, you should do so."

Nearly 100 soldiers have arrived in South Yorkshire to aid communities which have been cut off after the severe floods, and it is hoped their efforts will improve access to Fishlake - one of the worst-affected areas by last week's downpours.

The prime minister urged people in affected areas to listen to warnings of emergency services after some residents in Fishlake remained in their homes despite being advised by Doncaster Council to evacuate.