The truth about flooding: Poor areas three times more likely to be hit than rich ones

England's most deprived neighbourhoods are 3.5 times more likely to be flooded than the most well off, according to new research.

Figures from Oxfam showed that almost one in five of the poorest third of neighbourhoods in England were hit by floods between 1990 and 2013, compared to just one in 18 of the top ten per cent.

"This winter's floods dramatically demonstrated that people in the UK will not be immune from the effects of climate change," Sally Copley, Oxfam's head of UK policy, said.

"Not only are poor people hurt most by extreme weather events, they are also most vulnerable to food shortages and price increases."

The research comes after the UK's wettest winter since records began more than 200 years ago, with more than 5,000 homes and thousands of hectares of farmland across England and Wales going under water.

Prime minister David Cameron accepted that the floods were likely to be the result of climate change, although he faced criticism for keeping Owen Paterson, a leading climate change sceptic, as his environment secretary.

The intergovernmental panel on climate change's fifth assessment report on climate impacts, which will be published later this month, is expected to warn of declines in global agricultural yields of up to two per cent each decade, amid a 14% per decade increase in food demand.

Experts warn that the global economy could therefore be about to enter a period of volatile food prices, which would hurt poor consumers most of all.