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Brown: We'll provide what's needed in flood crisis

The Government will provide anything needed to help during the flooding which has seen hundreds of people evacuated from their homes, Gordon Brown said today.

Rescue operations have been under way in Cumbria, where the situation has been described by the Environment Agency as extremely serious.

The Prime Minister said: "The Government will assist. I have said to the chief constable (of Cumbria police, Craig Mackey) if he needs anything we will provide it.

"I've said to (Environment Secretary) Hilary Benn that if there are facilities needed we will make them available."

He praised the emergency services for the job they were doing.

"We want to do everything we can to help them on what has been one of the wettest and most difficult days in Cumbria that we've seen," he said.

He hoped, he said, that as many people as possible would be as safe as possible in the next few hours.

He added: "My thoughts are with the relatives of those people missing at the moment and with the emergency services who are doing an absolutely brilliant job."