U.K. Flood-Prevention Chief Must Quit, Lawmakers Tell BBC

  • Environment Agency chairman was in Barbados as floods hit
  • Dilley's position `quite untenable,' Labour lawmaker says

U.K. lawmakers from districts hit by recent flooding called on the chairman of the agency charged with flood defenses to resign, the BBC reported.

Environment Agency Chairman Philip Dilley was on vacation in Barbados over the Christmas period as northwest England bore the brunt of the flooding, forcing thousands of families from their homes. He told a House of Commons committee Wednesday he regretted not returning to the U.K. sooner.

“I think he should go,” the BBC cited Nigel Evans, the Conservative member of Parliament for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, as saying in an advance release of comments from the “Week in Westminster” program on Radio 4 to be broadcast Saturday. “I think he should spend more time in Barbados.”

Opposition Labour Party lawmaker Rachael Maskell, who represents York, described Dilley’s position as “quite untenable now. ”

“This is somebody who is paid 100,000 pounds ($145,000) to oversee the Environment Agency and, at its time of need, he wasn’t here,” she said, according to the BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron pledged extra money to fix flood defenses after facing criticism that not enough was done in the wake of storms that left parts of southwest England under water for weeks during the winter of 2013-14. KPMG put the economic loss in December at almost 6 billion pounds and there has been further flooding since then.

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