Monmouth MP David Davies has come under fire for accusing a prominent Labour party activist of ’spreading hatred on Twitter’.

The wider backlash was in response to Mr Davies - one of 265 Conservative MPs - voting against Lords amendment 45 to the environment bill. The amendment sought to put a legal duty on water companies not to pump sewage into rivers.

Many residents felt betrayed by the vote, particularly since Mr Davies had joined wild swimmer and international athlete Angela Jones for a wild swimming session on the Wye last July, to illustrate the importance of cleaning up the Wye.

At the time he said: "I feel very strongly that we must do everything possible to clean up our rivers and on this occasion I find myself on the same side as Greenpeace."

Mr Davies received further backlash from thousands of social media users after he accused previous Labour party general election candidate, Catrin Maby OBE of being ’more interested in spreading hatred on Twitter’.

Ms Maby said to Mr Davies: "So @DavidTCDavies, you voted yesterday to allow water companies to continue dumping raw sewage in our rivers. But you told Monmouth this was what was killing the Wye and Usk, and not the effect of intensive farming or poultry units near water courses."

Mr Davies replied directly: "We voted to reduce sewage going into rivers, but we can’t risk it backing up into people’s homes. The facts were set out but activists like you are more interested in spreading hatred on Twitter than looking into the arguments. In this of all weeks - shame on you."

A following post where he further criticised the use of Ms Maby’s language gained a great deal of attention, with thousands of Twitter users commenting, most of them unclear as to what the hateful language used by Ms Maby was. Deborah Meadon of Dragons’ Den also took to Twitter to ask what specifically Mr Davies found abusive, as she had seen Conservative MP Andrea Jenkins call radio presenter James O’ Brien an idiot.

Mr Davies claims that if MPs had voted last week to immediately ban any discharge of sewage into the river system, then any heavy rainfall would have led to sewage flooding back up the pipes into people’s homes, and that the alternative would be to spend hundreds of billions on a multi-year project to upgrade the sewage infrastructure.