Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds has called on DEFRA to take urgent action to stop sewage discharges into the Thames.

Ms Dodds, Labour MP for Oxford East, has written to George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to draw his attention to a new report by the Oxford River Improvement Campaign (ORIC), which found that half the sewage works in the Upper Thames discharged raw sewage for more than ten hours a week in 2021.

Last October, Ms Dodds voted in favour of an amendment to the Environmental Bill which would have forced large companies, such as Thames Water, to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to avoid sewage overflowing into rivers.

The plan, however, was voted down - MPs voted 268 to 204, majority 64.

READ ALSO: Thames Water dumped raw sewage in rivers around Oxford over 5,000 times in 2021

"Labour has committed to fix the 'broken system', by toughening up laws on pollution by reviewing legislation on enforcement and sanctions, and introducing penalties for under-reporting of incidents," said Ms Dodds.

"Labour would put clear legal requirements in place to reduce raw sewage discharging into our land, rivers and coastline, and would ensure that bills paid to water companies are actually directed towards quality services and investment in the network.

She added: "This disturbing report outlines the disgusting extent of untreated sewage outflows into Oxford's rivers, which have worsened since the Conservative Government's loosening of regulation.

"Rapid action is needed now.

"Labour's plan would deliver this."