An environment lawyer has joined a campaign to clean up polluted rivers and streams like the Dollis Brook.

Sarah Sackman plans to throw her hat in the ring and run for Parliament at the next General Election, going head-to-head with Hendon and Finchley MP Mike Freer.

The 38-year-old mum-of-two from Kentish Town joined Friends of Windsor Open Space campaigners in Hendon to see the pollution in Dollis Brook for herself.

“I am shocked to see the state that Dollis Brook has been allowed to get into,” she told the Barnet Times

“It is cloudy, polluted and often full of rubbish. People have found toilet paper floating in their gardens when it overflows. There seems to be little monitoring, and even less enforcement to stop polluters.”

She works on water pollution as an environmental barrister urging the government to clean up rivers with mandatory monitoring and automatic fines for polluters.

Times Series: Chair of Friends of Windsor Open Space Ruth Geiger (left) briefs Sarah Sackman on sewage in the Dollis Hill brookChair of Friends of Windsor Open Space Ruth Geiger (left) briefs Sarah Sackman on sewage in the Dollis Hill brook (Image: Francis Beckett)

There were more than 300,000 spillages into rivers and coastal areas in 2022, according to the Environment Agency.

“It’s deeply shocking that Dollis Brook has got into this state,” Sarah added. “Campaigners like the Friends of Windsor Open Space are doing everything they can to make sure things don’t get worse.”

Sarah, a barrister in Matrix Chambers founded by Cherie Blair, specialises in environment, planning and public law. Her clients include Friends of the Earth.

Times Series: Pollution in the water at Brent ParkPollution in the water at Brent Park (Image: Francis Beckett)

She plans to take on Tory Mike Freer, former Barnet Council leader who has been Hendon and Finchley MP since 2010.

Labour is using an Opposition Day motion to get parliamentary time on May 2 for its Water Quality Sewage Discharge Bill to be debated.

Sarah Sackman and other Labour candidates have signed an open letter calling on Conservative MPs like Mike Freer to support the bill.

Freer, on the other hand, is no stranger to rebelling against the Tory hierarchy.

He quit as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Exports in July last year in protest at Boris Johnson’s leadership. He was also one of 15 rebelling Conservative “remainers” supporting calls in 2019 for a People's Vote second referendum on the UK's EU membership.