red warning in effect as heatwave ‘could hit 43C’

Cabinet minister Kit Malthouse spoke about the UK government’s plans for the heat on this morning’s broadcast rounds.

He told LBC Radio “people should do the neighbourly thing” and check on elderly people living nearby to “check they are OK, they’ve got access to water, they are keeping themselves cool and looking after themselves”.

There was likely to be “significant disruption” on the transport network and people should “think about working from home” if they are able to, he added.

He defended the government’s response, saying the Cobra meetings “make sure we are prepared and we are then able to communicate a sensible public safety message”.

He said it was a “very unfair criticism” to attack Boris Johnson for not attending the Cobra meetings on the heatwave. He said it was “literally my job” to chair Cobra, and Johnson “appoints secretaries of state to do this kind of work and that’s what I’ve been doing”.

The prime minister was at his country retreat Chequers over the weekend where he hosted a party for friends.

Malthouse said France had a heatwave in 2003 and “thousands of elderly people did die” so the UK could “learn from that. We are not used to this kind of heat and we just need to make sure that we are sensible and moderate and take care during the next 48 hours”.

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