"Hezza has said he will lead the debate with Gummer falling in behind. They are the grandees," said one pro-foxhunting Tory MP. Mr Heseltine's intervention is certain to raise the pitch of the debate, which is already stirring up passions ahead of the second reading.
Mr Heseltine has been keeping a low profile since his intervention to defend the euro from the Euro-sceptics in the Tory party. He joined the pro-hunt rally in Hyde Park in July, attended by an estimated 100,000 hunt supporters.
Downing Street has refused to give the Bill time to reach the statute book if it is ambushed, as expected, in the Lords, and the Bill's sponsor, Labour MP Mike Foster, has not been told whether or not Tony Blair will be in the Commons to vote