Thames Water accused of hijacking David Walliams’ illness


Hammersmith and Fulham Council say Thames Water are trying to win support for their super-sewer project.


By Katriona Ormiston and Marc Sobbohi

Thames Water are being accused of hijacking David Walliams’ illness to promote their super-sewer project.

Walliams became ill during his 140 mile charity Thames swim due to bad water quality.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said Thames Water have been disingenuous in its attempt to win support for their super-sewer project on the back of Walliams’ illness.

Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh said: “We need solid evidence rather than the Thames Water propaganda machine spreading this kind of misinformation.”

A Thames Water spokesperson suggested the Council have dramatised the situation to publicise their anti-Thames Tunnel campaign. He said: “We never once put out anything proactive.

 “We were asked by members of the media when there was heavy rain how much sewage has gone into the river and we gave an answer. We gave factual answers to every question asked of us.”

Thames water maintains their position that the Tunnel is the best and most cost effective way of making London’s sewerage fit for purpose in the 21st century and beyond.

A Hammersmith and Fulham Council spokesperson said: “Yes we do need to clean up the Thames but is this the right solution at the right cost?

“Last week expert Chris Binney, who spent six years researching for Thames Water and was one of the creators of the Thames Tunnel, did a massive u-turn and told the commission that things had changed and his research is out of date.”

The Thames Tunnel is estimated to cost £3.6 billion and increase water-rates by at least £65 per year.

Alternatives are being recommended such as a Sustainable Urban Drainage Solution to prevent too much rainwater infiltrating the sewers in the first place.

Lord Selborn has gathered together an elite team of experts to form an Independent Commission to evaluate the project.

The commissioners are currently discussing their findings to be released towards the end of October.

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