PMQs today started with a more genteel tone in deference to the floods. But Ed Miliband showed that he has no intention of putting politics away entirely, effectively needling David Cameron on cuts at the Environment Agency. Tellingly, at the end of their exchanges, Cameron rebuked Miliband for seeking ‘to divide the House’. When a Prime Minister uses that line, it is a sure bet that they haven’t had the best of the exchanges.
But Cameron did have a slew of initiatives to announce which I suspect will be noticed on the ground more than today’s exchanges. Number 10 is desperate to show that it is ahead of the issue so expect more schemes every day.
One issue, though, is going to be who gets this help. Number 10 are indicating that the £5,000 grant for those homeowners who have been hit applies to every house regardless of the council tax band it is in. But given the value of some of the properties in the Thames Valley that look set to be flooded, one can see controversy coming down the track.