The Prime Minister was told “you’ve took your time, Boris” almost as many times as he was asked “are you going to get it done for us?” when he toured flood-hit South Yorkshire.
Boris Johnson turned up in Stainforth, near Doncaster, on Wednesday to talk to soldiers working on the flood banks by the River Don, but was quickly confronted by local residents wanting to know why he had not been to the area earlier.
Dorothy Whitehead told him: “What’s happening then Boris, are you going to get it done for us?”
Mrs Whitehead and her husband Harold said they had been flooded across the river in Fishlake and added: “We’ve got no home, we’ve lost everything and we’ve got two cars trapped. We’d just like to get over there.”
The Prime Minister tried to help the Whiteheads, asking Environment Agency officials and the military if they could get the pensioners back to their home to rescue a car.
When he said: “They may have their procedures,” Mrs Whitehead replied: “It’s just that it’s been so slow with everybody’s procedures.”
Mr Johnson called over Lieutenant Colonel Tom Robinson, from the Light Dragoons, who said he would try to help.
One of the first people the Prime Minister spoke to said: “You’ve took your time Boris, haven’t you?”
Mr Johnson told him: “We’ve been on it round the clock.”
The Prime Minister talked to people at Stainforth Central Club, where the relief effort for cut-off Fishlake began on Friday, and then moved on to a community centre where a huge effort is ongoing to supply the village.
Convoys of 4×4 vehicles were leaving regularly on Wednesday to cross the River Don, and lorry loads of supplies continued to arrive.
Co-ordinator George Derx, who helped set up the community response, said: “What’s been done in this area has been done by the community, by volunteers in the community, not by Government.
“This is the first time the Government has come and said ‘we will do this’.”
Mr Derx, who is a local Labour councillor, said: “What we want to know is, is this just pre-election promises or is he going to do it?
“It’s too little too late, in my opinion.
“He should have been here on Saturday when this happened, had a Cobra meeting then and put emergency planning into effect.”
Mr Derx said supplies were continuing to mount in the centre, including a huge delivery from officers at the prison at nearby Moorlands.