Hunter Hogg 'the sadist'
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Saturday 27 July 1996
Mr Hogg, speaking at a game fair at Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, said: "My ministerial colleagues and I are passionate defenders of field sports. I shoot and I fish. I do not myself hunt - at least not yet - but I resolutely champion the rights of those who do."
Mr Banks, MP for Newham North-West, said the pounds 2.7bn figure was plucked from the air. "Mr Hogg is allowing himself to be used by the British Field Sports Society and is just spouting their propaganda ... He would be better trying to sort out the total mess he has made over BSE," he said.
The furious exchanges highlight Labour's pledge - repeated in its draft manifesto, New Life for Britain, this month - to provide time for a free vote in the Commons on foxhunting, which would be almost certain to see it banned.
"There will be a majority in the next Parliament to ban hunting animals with hounds," Mr Banks, a leading animal rights campaigner, said.
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