Question Time's Fiona Bruce apologises after Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall outburst


In answer to the question about whether water companies be taken back into public ownership, Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "For me, yes, it is time to renationalise the water companies."

He continued: "I think what has been incredibly shocking as it has started to spill out over the months, and particularly in the last 24 hours with Thames, is the incredibly cynical business model that these privatised water companies are operating on.

"First of all, they are taking our money, we pay our money to the water companies so that we get what we expect, which is clean water, good sewage treatment and, please, clean rivers and clean beaches that we can all swim in and enjoy.

"And they take that money and then they borrow extraordinary amounts of money when the interest rates are low and give huge dividends to their shareholders while absolutely failing to deal with the mess that is going on, with the falling apart of the infrastucture, with the, frankly, s***, if I can say so, which is going into our rivers and is arriving on our beaches.

"And when the proverbial s*** hits the fan and for them, and they are £10bn in debt, suddenly they are looking to their shareholders to put money in, the shareholders don't want to do it..."

A smiling Bruce interrupted him to say: "Can I just interject for one moment, because we are on iPlayer at eight o'clock, which is before the watershed.

"I don't know what the rules are on iPlayer, but I apologise if anyone was offended by that word. After the watershed, feel free."

Fearnley-Whittingstall responded: "I apologise a bit if anybody was offended by that, but this is a subject that requires strong language because it's an absolute disgrace."

The debate continued with Tory MP Helen Whately arguing that nationalisation of the water companies is not a desirable option.

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