The government’s 11th-hour decision to apply for money from the EU Solidarity Fund is great news, but their delay in doing so is inexcusable.
I am glad that at long last the government have decided to apply for help from the Fund. Along with many Labour colleagues, including our fantastic North West MEPs, I have been urging them to do so ever since the floods hit Heywood and Middleton and large parts of the north, including in January when I wrote to the Prime Minister about the issue.
This u-turn is a victory for all of us who have put pressure on the government, and I am delighted that our efforts have finally forced this u-turn.
However, it is frankly bizarre that the government have waited until two days before the deadline to announce they will make the application after weeks of refusing to do so, and questions must be asked about their behaviour.
That being said, right now I am sure that the focus of everyone in the communities affected will be on continuing to repair the damage the flooding brought, getting people back in their homes, and getting businesses back up and running.