David Cameron has been accused of neglecting the north after parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester witnessed unprecedented levels of flooding over the weekend.
Such levels of flooding is “unthinkable” in London and the South East and would not be allowed to happen, it was claimed in a damning editorial in the Yorkshire Evening Post, which said “state-of-the-art flood defences” stop the south from seeing the kind of devastation in the north.
Technology made the flooding in Leeds and York “completely avoidable,” it claimed in a front-page article headlined ‘Indefensible’.
It was echoed by the Yorkshire Post, which told Mr Cameron that Yorkshire and the North will fail to become the “economic powerhouse if left to the mercy of unprecedented weather events”.
It called on ministers to divert some of Britain’s overseas aid budget to funding flood defences.
Mr Cameron will visit areas across the north hit by the devastating floods later on Monday.
Yesterday he announced that an extra 200 soldiers had been deployed to add to the 300 already working to help combat local residents cope with rising water levels.
A further 1,000 soldiers are on standby.
He is under increasing pressure to commit more money to building bigger and better flood defences and reverse last month's spending cuts to local councils and agencies.
The Environment Agency’s deputy chief executive David Rooke said a “complete rethink” of the UK’s flood defences was needed and said homes must also be made more resilient to flooding.
Accusing the Government of prioritising the South over the North, the Yorkshire Evening Post wrote on its front page on Monday: "It remains the case that such events, like those witnessed in this city, are unthinkable in London and much of the South East, where state-of-the-art flood defences have long been in place."
It added: "A Northern Powerhouse is nothing when it is under several feet of mucky water. This city must have critical inward investment to make sure it has the protection from floods on this scale ever happening again.
"What's good enough for London is good enough for Leeds."
Labour MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk added his name to those calling for foreign aid money to be diverted to funding flood defences in northern England. "Why do we spend money in Bangladesh when it needs spending in Great Britain?
"What we need to do is to sort out the problems which are occurring here and not focus so much on developing countries; that has to be our priority," he told BBC Manchester.
In Pictures: Floods hit the UK
In Pictures: Floods hit the UK
1/17 Floods hit the UK
Members of Cleveland Mountain Rescue and soldiers from 2 Battalion The Duke of Lancasters Regiment evacuating people from the Queens Hotel in York city centre as the River Ouse floods on December 27, 2015
2/17 Floods hit the UK
Teams in Whalley evacuate villagers from their homes
3/17 Floods hit the UK
A resident of Glenridding, which flooded for the third time this month, surveys the damage
4/17 Floods hit the UK
The River Ouse, York, has burst its banks
5/17 Floods hit the UK
A soldier from the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster’s regiment helps to sure up flood defences in Appleby, Cumbria, one of the areas worst affected by the floods
6/17 Floods hit the UK
Experts believe the cost of clearing up the most recent flooding could exceed £50m (PA)
7/17 Floods hit the UK
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in York
8/17 Floods hit the UK
A police helicopter photographed the extent of the flooding in York on 27 December.
9/17 Floods hit the UK
Flooding at Clifford's Tower in York on 27 December
10/17 Floods hit the UK
Flooding along York's Inner Ring Road on 27 December
11/17 Floods hit the UK
Water runs out of the Lowther pub in York on 27 December after the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre.
12/17 Floods hit the UK
Flooded streets in Dumfries, Scotland on 30 December
13/17 Floods hit the UK
A car left submerged in floodwater in Newton Stewart, Scotland
14/17 Floods hit the UK
Staff at the Worlds End bar in Dumfries Scotland desperately try to pump floodwater out of the building
15/17 Floods hit the UK
A man stands in the doorway of his cottage in the flooded town of Straiton in Scotland
16/17 Floods hit the UK
Flooding in the village of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland
17/17 Floods hit the UK
Man wades through floodwater outside a fish and chip shop in Dumfries, Scotland
Nearly 30 severe flood warnings remain in place in areas in the north-east and north-west England, meaning danger to life.
This is in addition to more than 180 other flood warnings in place across England and Wales. Follow the latest updates on the floods here.Reuse content