ISLE of Wight MP Bob Seely has come under fire for not voting to amend the Environment Bill — which currently allows raw sewage to be discharged into rivers and seas.

Cllr Jonathan Bacon, who is environment member for the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr Richard Quigley, who stood for Labour against Mr Seely in the General Election, and Vix Lowthion, chair of the Isle of Wight Green Party, all criticised his move.

Mr Seely responded with a long reply, reiterating that he wants to see an end to sewage discharge in this way, but with his reasons for voting against the latest bill amendment.

He said his first priority was getting a sympathetic hearing next week when he speaks to government about the fair funding formula, to get the best deal for the Island.

Cllr Bacon sent him an open letter, stating he was "shocked, amazed and perplexed" at the vote.

"In acting in this way, putting it simply, you have failed to serve the Isle of Wight.

"In many areas of the Island, including St Helens which I represent, there have been serious concerns raised throughout recent months about the release of raw sewage onto seafront areas.

"The amendment you voted against was specifically designed to address this issue and to provide protection for water and our environment.

"On an Island reliant on its beaches to support its tourist economy the potential importance of the amendment was even greater.

"Your vote also runs wholly and totally against the undertakings you made in a meeting we recently both attended designed to call Southern Water to account for recent perceived failings in the management of our water infrastructure.

"What were you thinking? Please tell us, as I and many residents of the Isle of Wight would appreciate an explanation as to why you took this course of action. And it better be good."

Cllr Quigley said: "Bob has voted against every amendment to the environment bill. One of which was aimed at improving water quality by stopping sewage outflows.

"He sat opposite me in a meeting with Southern Water and promised to table his own amendment to the bill, to protect the quality of water around our Island and wrote a press release saying such.

"What is the point of meeting people and making promises you have no intention of even trying to keep, the bloke is an arse. And you can quote me on that."

Ms Lowthion said: “We are used to Bob Seely talking absolute sewage, but now it’s been confirmed that he votes for sewage too.

“Not only that but he also voted this week against bringing in a tougher air quality targets, and his government are refusing to agree with the House of Lords that we must declare a biodiversity and climate emergency.

“This Environment Bill is an incredibly important piece of post-Brexit legislation, which Greens in the House of Lords have been influential in shaping, and I am astonished that our MP is throwing aside this vital opportunity to prioritise protection for our rivers, beaches, countryside and wildlife in this way.

“For too many days this year, Islanders have been unable to swim in the sea safely as raw sewage is being discharged off our beaches. One hundred days ago, Southern Water were fined a massive £90million for dumping sewage into the environment. And now we have an MP who refuses to legislate to stop it happening again.

“The Island deserves a lot better than an MP with the appalling voting record of Mr Seely.”

Mr Seely's response said he wants to focus his attention on protecting Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), with one on the Island 'under threat'.

He said this wasn't the final vote on water and sewage, and he is among MPs who have told the government they need to find a solution which ensures water companies 'clean up their act'.

He explained: "The question is how? If the time frame is too tight, water bills will increase steeply at a time when families are already facing higher bills.

"Too slow, and nothing is done. Therefore, the government is working to find a solution which will mean we end sewage discharge soon at a price that bill payers, ie Island families, can afford.

"I hope a successful compromise will see a duty on water companies to end sewage overflow built into management plans. That is the goal.

"This week’s vote was effectively on an initial amendment, and for reasons outlined, my voting for or against would have made no difference to the final outcome — it was not going to pass. "If a compromise is not reached, any potential rebellion will be larger, and potentially also supported by people like myself.

"The last conversation I had with government on this issue was this morning (Friday), and I again made my intention clear.

"It, and firms such as Southern Water, needs to find a solution to end sewage discharge."

Mr Seely pointed out he was one of the first supporters of the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill to clean up England’s inland waters.

He added: "The Environment Bill will place environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government. I am pleased legislative measures contained within it will address the biggest environmental priorities of our age, ensuring we can deliver on the commitment to leave the natural world in a better condition than we found it.

"These include legally binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency. The bill will also give ministers the powers to tackle storm overflows.

"Further, the government has amended the bill in the Lords to include a new, historic, legally binding target on species abundance for 2030, aiming to halt the decline of nature.

"This is a pioneering measure that will be the net zero equivalent for nature, spurring action on the scale required to address the biodiversity crisis.

"A forthcoming Green Paper will also explore how ministers might deliver their world-leading domestic ambitions for nature, including how to improve the status of native species, such as the water vole and the red squirrel, and protect 30 per cent of our land by 2030. This is of direct interest and relevance to the Island.

"I repeat, I want the water companies to clean up their act.

"I have to balance this important goal with other things I am trying to get from government.

"Since I became MP, we are getting more from government now than at any point in the past 50 years. That must continue."