Outrage as Dominic Raab tells Brits to ‘enjoy sunshine’ as they brace for 40C scorcher

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The Deputy Prime Minister urged Brits to take “common sense” precautions as experts warn that the “ferocious heat” could lead to deaths. The warning comes despite reports of Britons flocking to beaches across the UK over the weekend, including in Brighton and Blackpool.

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, warned Brits about the potential symptoms for heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

In a post on Twitter, he said: “The Met Office has issued an extreme heat warning for next week.

“Please remember the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke especially for older and medically vulnerable people.

“Early intervention to cool people down and rehydrate them can be lifesaving.”

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However, Mr Raab urged Brits to show resilience over the coming days.

Mr Raab, who opened Rishi Sunak’s launch for Tory leader last week, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “Obviously there is some common sense practical advice we are talking about – stay hydrated, stay out of the sun at the hottest times, wear sun cream, those sorts of things.

“We ought to enjoy the sunshine and actually we ought to be resilient enough through some of the pressures it will place.”

The Esher & Walton MP has come under pressure for his comments.

Skin cancer charities even called Mr Raab’s comments “wholly irresponsible”.

Melanoma UK founder Gillian Nuttall said: “I would expect much clearer advice to be given from our Deputy Prime Minister.

“To tell us to ‘enjoy’ the sunshine, without bothering to mention the dangers of overexposure, is wholly irresponsible.”

According to the Telegraph, Dr Faisal Ali, a consultant dermatologist, said Mr Raab’s comments “risk trivialising the immediate risk of sunburn and the recognised longer term risk of life-threatening skin cancers”.

Temperatures on Monday are forecast to exceed 35C in some areas, with Peterborough expected to hit 37C and Milton Keynes, Norwich and Lincoln set to see temperatures of 36C.

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The Met Office has said there is now a 60 percent chance that parts of England will see 40C temperatures on Tuesday.

The previous record had been set in 2019 when Cambridge witnessed 38.7C.

The Met Office’s forecast comes after Ministers held a virtual COBRA meeting on Saturday.

Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse, who chaired the emergency meeting, warned transport services would face “significant disruption” on Monday and Tuesday and urged people not to travel.

He also pointed out that schools had been issued guidance to enable them to remain open.

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