The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Conservative Party to ‘legalise fox hunting if they win general election 2015'

Friday, 26 December 2014, 18:45 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Conservative Party will try to overturn the ban on fox hunting if elected in next year's general election, it has emerged.

David Cameron, who was an enthusiastic supporter of his local Heythrop Hunt before becoming prime minister, will allow a free vote on legalising fox hunting in the next Parliament if re-elected.

The pledge will form part of the Conservative Party's 2015 manifesto.

Fox hunting was banned in the Hunting Act 2004 by New Labour along with hunting other wild mammals - but since it came into force in February 2005 it has been strongly opposed.

Today more than 250,000 turned out to support Boxing Day hunts across the country.

Conservative Party MP Simon Hart, who was chief executive of the Countryside Alliance between 2004 and 2010, told The Daily Telegraph: 'All the indications are that a commitment will be just as robust as it always has been and there is no reason to believe any changes are intended or planned.'

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said he expected a manifesto commitment to repeal the Hunting Act.

He said: 'We fully expect the Conservative manifesto commitment to repeal of the Hunting Act to be retained in 2015 and repeal or replacement of the Act is matter of trust between the countryside and the Conservatives. If there is a conservative majority, or a Conservative led coalition, there must be action on hunting.'

Labour meanwhile are expected to accuse the Conservatives of being out of touch with wider public opinion and only addressing the concerns of the privileged elite.

This is not the first time the Tory party has pledged to repeal the ban on fox hunting, it was promised in their 2010 manifesto but was not delivered.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: 'We are still deciding what will be in our manifesto and will outline its contents in due course.'

 

 

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