UK weather forecast: Heavy rain to pummel Britain as soldiers called in to tackle flooding

Tom Parfitt

“Heavy and persistent” rain is set to sweep across the UK, pounding areas where thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes because of devastating floods.

A yellow warning for rain covering a vast region from Portsmouth to Hull has been issued by Met Office forecasters, who said heavy deluges could add to already high water levels.

Ice warnings are also in place in Scotland as temperatures continue to plunge, while up to 2cm of snow could fall away from the coast across Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Between “10-20mm [of rain] is likely fairly widely within the warning area and a few places may receive 35-45 mm, which may lead to further flooding and disruption,” the yellow warning states, although it adds that is “expected to ease and clear to the north later on Thursday night.”

Dozens of flood warnings are still in place across England and Wales, although five severe “danger to life” warnings have been downgraded.

Almost 100 soldiers arrived in South Yorkshire to help communities cut off by the flooding.

Personnel from the Light Dragoons were spotted laying down sandbags in Stainforth, Doncaster, and attempting to shore up the village’s bridge.

Boris Johnson has come under heavy criticism over his response to the floods, having said on Friday night that they were not a national emergency.

The prime minister was heckled during a visit to Stainforth. One angry local told him: “You’ve took your time Boris, haven’t you?”

Another shouted: “You’ve not helped us”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also accused the Conservatives of “ignoring the north’s needs” and said the government’s response had been “woeful”.