Young Tory, not so fogey, samples the damp delights of carnival

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The Independent Online
Rain dampened the start of the Notting Hill Carnival where William Hague, the Tory leader, and his fiancee Ffion Jenkins joined the crowds yesterday - and washed out many people's Bank Holiday Monday. Mr Hague, who is said to be trying to throw off his "old fogey" image, said, "This is the biggest cultural event of the nation."

But storms created chaos on the roads for thousands of motorists who were only too well aware of the other vehicles around them as flooding contributed to jams on many of the roads to the coasts. Surface water in the West Country created hazardous conditions while fog and mist across Lincolnshire led to reduced visibility.

A severe weather warning was issued for East Anglia where half a month's rainfall fell in six hours, flooding several roads in the area.

The RAC reported flooding in Wiltshire with the A354 in Newtown, the A3102 in Westbrook and the B3803 in Berwick St James the worst affected.

Water on the M25 near Denham was three to four inches deep while the M40 between Bicester and Banbury and junctions 1A of the M40 also saw delays because of flooding.