Tory MP claims it used to be ‘acceptable’ to swim in sewage in ‘ridiculous’ anecdote

Tory MP claims it used to be ‘acceptable’ to swim in sewage in ‘ridiculous’ anecdote
Tory MP recalls swimming in sewage as a child

Conservative politicians get nostalgic over the weirdest things. As the public outcry over water companies dumping sewage into rivers continues, senior Tory Damian Green appeared on ITV’s Peston to claim it used to be considered “acceptable” to swim in excrement.

Speaking to the broadcaster’s deputy political editor Anushka Asthana (stepping in for the show’s namesake, who’s reporting on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s G7 visit to Japan), the Ashford MP acknowledged the scandal was a “problem”.

He said: “I’m absolutely not denying that it is a big issue, but it always has been interesting. I remember, as a child in South Wales…”

“Swimming in sewage,” asked Asthana.

Green nodded: “Swimming in sewage, absolutely. Jackson’s Bay in Barry used to be a sewage outlet where we all went and paddled and swam, and it was sort of regarded as acceptable.

“Of course it wasn’t acceptable.”

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A day after the politician made the comments, industry body Water UK apologised for sewage spillages and admitted “more should have been done”.

As Green shared the anecdote, fellow guest and shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth could be seen turning his head away in disbelief.

Twitter users couldn’t believe it either:

And things have been pretty rubbish for Green personally in recent months, as back in February he learned he had been rejected as the Conservatives’ candidate for the Weald of Kent constituency created off the back of boundary changes.

“I am now thinking about what to do next and how I can best continue to work for the people of Ashford and support the government,” he tweeted.

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