LABOUR and the Liberal Democrats have denounced the UK Government’s “woeful” response to the severe floods hitting Britain, which they insisted must now be deemed a national emergency.

As the floods were thrust to the centre of the General Election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson both visited the badly affected area of south Yorkshire, each pledging billions of more pounds for better flood defences.

On a visit to the Bentley Town End area of Doncaster, the Labour leader met Emma King, whose home, which she shares with her partner and three children, was wrecked by the deluge.

"It stinks like dead bodies," declared the 36-year-old. "The smell is rotten, there's sewage in it. It's all destroyed."

In Whitehall, after a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee, Boris Johnson emerged to insist a “huge amount of energy and effort” was going into the operation to help people.

The Prime Minister claimed things were “perhaps stabilising” for those affected. However, more rain is forecast for later this week in the flood-hit region.

Mr Johnson said he was considering where the Army might be deployed and added the Environment Agency had “not done too bad a job” but stressed there was no room for complacency.

The Environment Agency said it had more than 200 staff on the ground in south Yorkshire supporting communities affected by the "devastating flooding".

Earlier at a campaign rally in Blackpool, Mr Corbyn went on the attack.

"More than a thousand homes have been evacuated and one woman, Annie Hall, has lost her life. Our hearts go out to her family and friends.

"The Conservative Government's response to the floods has been woeful; if this had happened in Surrey instead of Yorkshire and the East Midlands, it would have been a very different story.”

The Labour leader went on: "When terrible floods struck the South in 2014, David Cameron rightly said: 'Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed, we will spend it.'

"This time, Boris Johnson waited five days before calling a Cobra meeting and only after I wrote to him demanding it. We now need a guarantee from the Government that the Bellwin money is made immediately available to local government."

Mr Corbyn announced that an incoming Labour government would set up a new £5.6bn fund to level up flood defences over 10 years.

Meanwhile, Ms Swinson, who visited the flood-affected area of Fishlake, accused the Tory Government of not taking the devastating floods as seriously as it should.

"It should be declaring a national emergency so they can open up the ability to apply to the EU for the emergency funds that are available at times of extreme floods,” the Lib Dem leader declared, adding: “They are not yet doing that and they should be doing that."

The Scot explained how her party would spend £5bn on flood defences, noting how the climate emergency would make such events more common.

Meanwhile, Amelia Womack, the Green Party deputy leader, also insisted the flooding in northern England should be classed as a national emergency by the PM but stressed that what Britain was experiencing was a “long-term” climate emergency.

"We know that International Panel for Climate Change told us we would get increased floods in this country. We are seeing the effects winter after winter after winter. It is homes and communities that get destroyed as a result of long-term action not having been put in place."

Some 29 flood warnings are in place across the country with 12 around the River Don.

The Government's emergency Bellwin scheme reimburses councils for costs they incur during a response to flooding for items such as rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for rain in south Wales and parts of the south west on Wednesday and the Midlands, parts of Wales and the south east on Thursday.