A Cumbrian Lib Dem candidate has said water company bosses should be criminally liable for failing to meet specific performance targets ahead of plans to push for a new law. 

Today (May, 15), MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron, will table an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill for legislation to hold senior water firm managers criminally responsible for failing performance targets.


"If the bosses of water companies fail to meet specific performance measures they should face criminal charges,” said Chris Wills, Lib Dem candidate for Whitehaven and Workington

This move comes after the Environment Agency has previously called for court-imposed penalties on water chiefs in cases of major pollution.

Labour has also previously called for criminal liability for illegal sewage dumping. 

It follows after all water companies in England saw an increase in the number of hours of sewage spills from monitored storm overflows in 2023. 

“We need to protect our precious water so that swimmers, wildlife and our natural environment as a whole are all kept safe," Mr Wills said. 

"Perhaps we should be thinking about Anglo-Saxon punishments for the biggest offenders and make these terrible managers swim in the pollution they are creating.

"I hope the House of Commons is swamped by a wave of sense on Wednesday and we get the cleaner water we have a right to," he said.