UK Government ministers had to be “dragged” to the House of Commons to answer an urgent question on the heatwave, MPs were told.

The Commons allowed an urgent question from Green MP Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavillion, on soaring temperatures after the government didn’t table a ministerial statement - despite holding two Cobra meetings on the crisis.

Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was “disappointed” there had been no statement forthcoming for the government as he introduced Lucas’s question.

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MPs clashed over the government’s preparedness for the heatwave, which is seeing record temperatures impact services across the country. In Scotland, where temperatures are slightly lower than in England, speed limits have been put on train services following the amber weather warning for extreme heat.

In England, a red weather warning was issued for the first time, as MPs were allowed to ditch part of their dress code due to the boiling temperatures.

Meanwhile, one DUP MP blasted his MP colleagues for being “hysterical” over “a couple of warm days” during the session.

Speaker Hoyle blasted the government’s attempt to dodge scrutiny, telling the House: “I want to express my disappointment that the government did not come forward with a general statement on the heatwave given its potential to have wide ranging serious impact on the nation.

“Members need to be able to scrutinise the government on all issues arising from the current high temperature, especially as the government felt it appropriate for Cobra to meet, if it's good enough for Cobra to sit and discuss it’s good for this House to hear it as well.”

The National: Lucas was granted an urgent question on the soaring temperatures across the UK and how the government is preparing to helpLucas was granted an urgent question on the soaring temperatures across the UK and how the government is preparing to help

With record temperatures already seen in England and Wales, and set for Scotland on Tuesday, Lucas told MPs that there is a “very real threat to life” as well as key infrastructure, education, travel, and health.

She added: “It is indeed disappointing that the minister didn't offer his own statement about what the government is doing instead of waiting to be dragged here through an urgent question, and while the heatwave has now been declared a national emergency, there are real questions about how seriously the government is taking it and how prepared they are.

“They seem to be turning up with a watering can when what we need is a giant fire hose.”

The Green MP then asked how many cobras on the heat emergency Johnson has missed and why, and what practical support the government was offering to schools and other services outside of simply “guidance”.

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Lucas also hit out at Tory MPs for making the climate crisis a “culture wedge issue” by calling those who want to take precautions “cowards and snowflakes”, and called on the government to “turn off the tap to oil and gas”.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse, who was representing the government at the despatch box, said the “immediate concern” was to get the country through the next 36 hours On the PM missing Cobra meetings, he added: “It’s literally my job as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to chair Cobra, in particular where the civil contingencies secretariat is involved, and then to brief the Prime Minister accordingly – which I did yesterday morning at 8am.

“It is my job to co-ordinate across the whole of Government and that is what we have been doing, and as a result I’m confident all the guidance and support that is needed in schools, in hospitals, for our police forces, for other people involved in this effort, is now working its way out through the system and they’re all standing up well.”

Not every MP in the Commons for the statement called for urgent action on rising temperatures.

Sammy Wilson, DUP MP for East Antrim, told the chamber: “While it’s right that government departments should prepare and plan for foreseen and unforeseen emergencies and crises, does the minister not agree with me that some of the hysteria we have seen demonstrated in this house today about a couple of warm days? 

"Which most of our constituents if their not working are probably out enjoying, and when it gets too hot they’ll sit in the shade, have a cold drink and cool down.”

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Wilson added that the government should explain to people their “personal responsibilities” instead of expensive climate policies which are “draining their pockets”.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could be seen shaking his head behind Wilson during his question.

Responding, Malthouse said that the vast majority of the public will be fine over the next 36 hours, but that some groups are “particularly vulnerable to the heat”.