with Horse and Hound

New Conservative Government May Bring Vote on Hunting Act

UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has consistently pledged to bring a free vote in Commons to overturn the hunting ban. It was part of her election plank as she sought to become Prime Minister in last summer’s election. Although she lost her election bid to current Prime Minister Theresa May, because Leadsom is head of the department in charge of the issue, she is still positioned to fulfil her pledge.

David Cameron made the same election promise before he became Prime Minister, but he never did bring the matter to a vote, fearing it would fail. The odds against are still overwhelming, but many Tories now fear that low ambition guarantees failure.

Current Prime Minister Theresa May has spoken in favor of foxhunting in the past, and her stiff support for other contentious government issues has given new hope to many Conservatives who wish to square off on the foxhunting issue. They chafe under the Hunting Act which they see as a Labour-inspired class assault on the countryside in the guise of animal welfare.

Tony Blair was Prime Minister at the time the Hunting Act was passed and implemented. Blair managed to leave hunting “banned and not quite banned,” and he admitted in his recent memoir that the Hunting Ban was a mistake. There appears to be renewed resolve among some well-placed Conservatives to force a vote on the issue, win or lose.

Posted September 20, 2016