The raw sewage being pumped into rivers and seas in England has become a seismic election issue. The musician turned environmentalist Feargal Sharkey joins the FT’s Lucy Fisher, George Parker and Robert Shrimsley to assess how we got here, while the FT’s infrastructure correspondent Gill Plimmer analyses Thames Water’s woes. Plus, the team looks at scandals in Westminster and considers how much William Wragg’s honeytrap debacle and allegations that Angela Rayner failed to pay the right tax on a former house sale – which she denies – might damage their parties’ chances in this election year.

Since recording, Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation into allegations that Angela Rayner potentially broke electoral law by failing to properly disclose her main residence in official documents.

Follow Lucy on X: @LOS_Fisher, Robert @robertshrimsley, George @GeorgeWParker, Gill @gillplimmer1, Feargal @Feargal_Sharkey,

Want more? Free links:

The great stink of Thames Water

Raw sewage discharges in England and Wales hit record levels

UK seeks to quell public anger on sewage with £11mn restoration fund

Senior MP quits Tory parliamentary party amid sexting scandal

Labour’s Angela Rayner refuses to publish tax records as police probe house sale

Sign up here for 30 free days of Stephen Bush's Inside Politics newsletter, winner of the World Association of News Publishers 2023 ‘Best Newsletter’ award.

Presented by Lucy Fisher. Produced by Audrey Tinline with Leah Qiunn. Manuela Saragosa is the executive producer. Audio mix and original music by Breen Turner. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.

Read a transcript of this episode on

View our accessibility guide.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this audio


Comments have not been enabled for this article.