Senior Tory ministers have played down claims of a rift amid a growing row over the handling of the devastating winter storms.
A spokeswoman for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson insisted he was "working closely" with Eric Pickles, despite reports that he complained to Downing Street over the Communities Secretary's criticism of the Environment Agency (EA).
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned against getting into a "blame game" while thousands of people in southern England were still suffering extreme flooding.
The interventions came after EA chairman Lord Smith launched an attack on the Government, insisting his staff knew "a hundred times" more than any politician.
The peer spoke out after hearing Mr Pickles issue a barbed apology yesterday for following the agency's advice, jibing that ministers had "thought we were dealing with experts".
"When I hear someone criticising the expertise and professionalism of my staff in the Environment Agency who know more about flood risk management - 100 times more about flood risk management - than any politician ever does, I am not, I'm afraid, going to sit idly by," Lord Smith told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"The EA is bound by the rules that are laid down by the Government. So when someone says that we followed the advice of the EA, what they were actually doing is following the Treasury rules that say how much we can spend and how much we cannot spend on any individual flood defence scheme."
Lord Smith was asked about reports that Mr Paterson, who was leading the Government flooding response before being forced to undergo an eye operation, complained to Number 10 about Mr Pickles' criticism of the EA.
"I have indeed spoken with Owen Paterson by text ... he has been hugely supportive throughout of the Environment Agency, its staff and its work and I very much appreciate that," he said.
However, a spokeswoman for Mr Paterson insisted he was "working closely" with his Cabinet colleague.
"Owen and Eric both agree there should have been more dredging in Somerset," she said.
"They are working closely to deal with the problems caused by floods and severe weather - and to help the businesses and families affected."