Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has pledged total, “permanent” and cost-free renationalisation of the water, energy and rail industries if Labour won power at the next election.

But according to a story last week in Financial Director, discussions between the opposition and privately owned water companies are thought to have included the possibility of a mutualisation-type approach.

Labour said it is definitely not the case that mutualisation or any alternative programme to nationalisation is being discussed.

A request to speak to John McDonnell has so far not been responded to- which is understandable given the current turmoil in Westminster. But nonetheless, a few minutes with Mr McDonnell would be helpful to clarify.