Tories Shamed Over UK's Polluted Water Supply: 'They Turned A Blind Eye'

"The government will of course be flailing around, desperate for someone else to blame, but this crisis is theirs," Labour's Emma Hardy said.
Labour's Emma Hardy slammed the Tories over the recent infections from UK water
Labour's Emma Hardy slammed the Tories over the recent infections from UK water
BBC Parliament

The Conservatives have been torn apart by a Labour MP after thousands were impacted by a parasite in their water supply last week.

Approximately 16,000 households and businesses in Brixham, Devon, have been urged to boil their water before use after traces of cryptosporidium were found and some people were hospitalised with the bug.

South West Water has promised to pay £3.5m in compensation to customers impacted by the diarrhoea-inducing parasite – but others are still holding the government responsible.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, shadow minister Emma Hardy said: “Another day, another example of the depths of failure that this government have taken us.

“I cannot believe that I am about to say this, but after 14 long years of Conservative rule, in 21st Century Britain, our water is no longer safer to drink.

“The government will of course be flailing around, desperate for someone else to blame, but this crisis is theirs.”

She called for the government to take responsibility for the ongoing issue, blaming them for weakening regulations around the UK’s Victorian-era sewage system.

“They turned a blind eye and left water companies to illegally pump a tidal wave of raw sewage into our rivers, lakes and seas,” Hardy said.

The Labour MP recalled that her party had warned the Conservatives last week about the health implications of the UK’s contaminated water.

She said: “Is this an example of their plan working? Is this what they think success looks like? And now this, the icing on the cake of failure – a parasite outbreak in Brixham, with South West Water?”

More than 100 people have reported symptoms and two others, including a 13-year-old boy, have been admitted to hospital.

“This is appalling. Enough is enough,” Hardy said.

She called for the government to put the water companies under special regulations, to make law-breaking bosses face criminal charges and for company bonuses to stop until the crisis is addressed.

Concerns about the cleanliness of UK water has been a pressing concern for some years now.

According to Surfers Against Sewage, there were more than 584,000 discharges of raw sewage into UK waterways last year alone – and 75% of UK rivers pose a serious risk to human health.

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