Marks & Spencer’s champion of green issues has branded the retailer’s eco kettles “bug-ugly” – and admitted he feared his cleaner could burn down his house by leaving the appliance switched on.

Richard Gillies, the director of M&S’s Plan A green initiative, stunned a sustainability conference yesterday by admitting the £29.95 kettles were flawed.

“I have one of our ‘eco kettles’ because I kind of thought I should have one,” said Gillies. “But between you and me it’s bug-ugly. It costs more, it’s bug ugly and it’s difficult to use.”

He added: “If the cleaner comes I’m frightened she will burn the house down because she doesn’t move the water from one chamber to the other.”

The kettles were launched three years ago but have since been discontinued.

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