Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones has denied claims by Lib Dem MS Janes Dodds that she has ignored the wishes of her constituents over a vote on river pollution, saying the opposition party cannot be trusted to tell the truth on the issue.

In a blistering attack Welsh Liberal Democrats accused Powys’ Conservative MPs of watering down proposals to tackle river pollution as the UK Government sought to push through a weakened version of the environmental act last week.

Both Fay Jones MP (Brecon and Radnorshire) and Craig Williams MP Montgomeryshire voted in favour of an amendment that the opposition and environment campaigners have stated is a cop-out for forcing water companies to tackle water pollution with urgency.

Commenting Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said: “The Conservative Government has ignored millions of people who demanded action to save our treasured rivers and lakes. This is a slap in the face for what has been one of the boldest and more inspiring environmental campaigns in recent years.

“We needed to see legislation with real teeth which gave water companies hard deadlines and targets. Instead, we have a flimsy new law that won’t be strong enough to hold water companies to account.

“This is yet another betrayal of the Welsh population by the Conservative Party that has been pushed through despite the visible upset it was causing within Powys, especially considering the dire state of the River Wye.

“I will continue to demand stronger and more immediate action to get our rivers, lakes and seas cleared up, including levying larger fines against water companies refusing to follow the rules. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will stand up for all those who took part in this inspiring environmental campaign.”

In an angry response Ms Jones defended her decision to vote with the government saying she had voted in favour of many measures to reduce pollition in local rivers.

“The Liberal Democrats cannot be trusted to tell the truth on this issue. They’re blatantly ignoring the six pages of measures which I voted for in the Environment Bill which will reduce the discharge of sewage into our rivers.

“I voted against the Duke of Wellington’s amendment and in favour of a better worded, more stringent amendment which even the Duke has given his support to. The Government’s approach has been welcomed across the house–including Philip Dunne MP who has been a brave leader on this issue.

“This is the number one issue in my inbox and the Westminster government is the only party prepared to tackle this issue. When the Liberal Democrats had a Minister for Water in the coalition government, they did absolutely nothing.

“Discharging sewage into our beautiful rivers is unacceptable and I’m glad the government is rising above the opposition’s game playing and taking tough action towards those responsible.

“Water companies will now have a legal duty to reduce the harm caused by storm overflows and the Government has stronger enforcement powers to force them to comply.

“This is a bolder, tougher step than the Welsh Government has ever taken. Their approach to solely blame farmers is wholly wrong and I’m glad the U.K. Government is showing determined leadership on tackling this practice once and for all.”