The Liberal Democratic Party has called for a national task force to improve the UK's flood defences.

Speaking at the party's conference in Bournemouth, Malcolm Bruce said last year's floods were “a devastating wake-up call to the laughable nature of the UK's flood defence strategy”.

He said more investment in flood defences was vital, but it needed to be overseen by a single body.

“The hotch-potch of administrative arrangements surrounding flood defence is diabolical,” he said.

“It is unbelievable that the Environment Agency doesn't have the overall responsibility for flood defence management and planning.”