A man has died in England after being washed into a harbour as strong winds and heavy rain battered parts of Britain.

Fallen trees blocked roads in Kent, East Anglia and parts of London, and rising floodwater saw some have to be plucked from their vehicles by emergency services.

The UK Met Office issued a yellow warning for rain and wind for most of the south east of England.

It said so far more than a month's worth of rain had fallen within 24 hours in some places.

In Kent, emergency services were called to reports that three people were in the water by Ramsgate pier, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

"It is believed that all three people were washed off the pier by a large wave," an MCA spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said the force was called to the scene in the Royal Harbour at about 11.30am to assist the coastguard and lifeboat teams.

She said: "Three men were recovered from the water, but one was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

The other two were taken to hospital for treatment.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious. Inquiries are ongoing to identify next of kin."

Weather conditions in Ramsgate were described as "atrocious" by the RNLI, with waves reportedly breaking over the harbour wall.

It is understood that the combination of a spring tide and the strong winds caused the large volume of water to batter the coast.