PM pledges further £25 million to help Hurricane Irma relief effort

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Theresa May has promised a further £25 million of Government funding to help the Hurricane Irma relief effort.

The Prime Minister announced the extra money in the Commons amid criticism of the Government's response to the devastation in the Caribbean.

Mrs May said the new funding was on top of the £32 million already promised to tackle the disaster.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has travelled to the British Overseas Territories in the region to "see the recovery work at first hand and assess what more is needed", Mrs May said.

"We had a navy ship pre-positioned in the region and humanitarian experts on the ground to coordinate the UK response," Mrs May said.

The emergency Cobra committee had met regularly to discuss the crisis and more than 40 tonnes of aid had arrived in the region, Mrs May added.

"We have now deployed over 1,000 military personnel to the region, with an additional 200 to arrive in the next few days along with over 60 police," the Prime Minister said.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told Mrs May to examine the speed of the Government's response to the tragedy.

Mr Corbyn said the UK must respond "as generously as we possibly can" to help those affected by the hurricane.

Downed trees in the garden of the Governor of Anguilla (Georgina Stubbs/PA)
Downed trees in the garden of the Governor of Anguilla in the wake of Hurricane Irma (Georgina Stubbs/PA)

He said: "I hope that the Prime Minister will be prepared to look carefully at the speed of our response to Hurricane Irma and, if future demands are made in the near future from any country affected by it, that Britain will respond as generously as we possibly can to help people at what must be the most catastrophic time of their lives."

Mrs May insisted the Government reacted quickly and will also be working with overseas territories on reconstruction work.

"The UK response was a speedy one. We already had RFA Mounts Bay pre-positioned. It was able to go in immediately to Anguilla, first of all, to make necessary repairs such as ensuring that the hospital there could continue to operate."