Emergency Cobra meeting as UK faces extreme temperatures ‘never experienced’

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As the UK braces itself for the peak of this month’s record-breaking heatwave Kit Malthouse, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is chairing an emergency Cobra meeting at No.10 Downing Street to discuss the national response.

A national emergency has been declared after the Met Office issue its first ever red extreme heat warning, with temperatures predicted to reach 40C (104F) in some areas on Monday.

The warning means there is a potential risk to life and daily routines will need to change.

READ MORE: Government issues unprecedented weather warning as 40C forecast for first time ever

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the UK could be in "potentially a very serious situation”.

The highest recorded temperature in the UK was 38.7C in Cambridge in 2019 and BBC Weather presenter Matt Taylor said there is now a realistic possibility of that record being shattered in the next few days.

"That is exceptionally hot, the sort of temperatures that if you are on holiday you may be able to deal with but in day-to-day life it can have severe impacts on health," he said.

London and the South East are likely to bear the brunt of the unprecedented heat blast.

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the public to only travel if necessary, and has called a special meeting of the Mayors Advisory Group with key senior officials from agencies including the NHS, the Met Police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, London Councils and Transport for London.

He said “I need to be clear with all Londoners that the next few days will see temperatures that we have never experienced in this city.

“This hot weather is normally something we all welcome but this heatwave brings with it a potential threat to life and means that all of us are going to have to change our routines in order to stay safe.

“It is vital that we all take sensible precautions to look after ourselves and help reduce the pressure on our emergency services who will be very busy in this extreme heat”.

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Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left the capital and is reportedly set to host a party at Chequers.

Comparing the PM’s disappearance to the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “ Boris Johnson has gone missing in action again.

"He’s back to his old tricks of skipping important Cobra meetings. Where’s the plan for the delivery of essential services and how people will be kept safe at work, on transport, in schools, hospitals and care homes?"

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Ms Rayner, who is also Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, added: "The public will have no confidence in this zombie Conservative government responding swiftly and decisively to this national emergency as this disgraced Prime Minister prepares to party while Britain boils.

"If he still can’t take the responsibility of the job, he should leave right now.”

A Number 10 spokeswoman stressed the party would be a "private event with no taxpayers' money being spent."

They declined to say who had been invited to the party.

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