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THE boss of water giant Severn Trent was caught colluding with Labour’s increasingly right-wing leadership to stave off calls for nationalisation today.
In a leaked email marked “highly confidential,” Liv Garfield invited other bosses from across England’s privatised system to a “off-the-record roundtable” discussion on how to maintain the “status quo” amid the potential collapse of Thames Water.
The debt-laden company, which has been widely criticised for overseeing leaky infrastructure and raw sewage discharges, will fold if it fails to secure more funding.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer committed to state-run utility firms when he ran for the party leadership in 2020, but he has now largely abandoned the pledges, calling for better regulation instead.
Ms Garfield wrote: “While it is clear Labour will not include nationalisation in its next manifesto, they are also not keen on championing the status quo.
“The leadership thinks there is room for improvement and, politically, there is significant pressure to ‘do something’ about utilities.
“Labour is aware we are soft testing various ideas but have asked us to keep it highly confidential so please don’t forward this email.”
Hilary Schan, co-chairwoman of grassroots group Momentum, stressed the revelation “beggars belief.”
She said: “While Labour members, unions and the public are all agreed on public ownership, it’s clear that for Starmer, corporate interest comes before public good.
“The national water scandal has seen unprecedented public anger with the Tories — Labour risks being next.”
The warning came as the GMB union announced 1,100 of its members at water firm United Utilities are set to strike over plummeting take-home wages.
Union organiser Steve Whittle confirmed walkout dates will be announced imminently as he slammed bosses and shareholders for taking bumper pay outs while infrastructure is “left to crumble through lack of investment.”
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