Stars blitz Blair with faxes for foxes

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The Independent Online
THE PRIME Minister, Tony Blair, has received a blitz of Christmas Day faxes from celebrities calling for hunting with dogs to be banned, writes Jonathon Carr-Brown.

The stars who launched the electronic assault on Downing Street included the Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and his wife Meg Matthews, the astonomist Patrick Moore and the TV scriptwriter Carla Lane. They all urged Tony Blair to support a private member's Bill being introduced by Ken Livingstone.

A spokesman for the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals (CPHA) said the letters stressed the importance of providing enough time and backing for the anti-hunting Bill to become law. He said the celebrities posted and faxed their letters to Downing Street yesterday as Monday would see one of the busiest days in the hunting calendar.

In a joint letter to Mr Blair, Noel and Meg wrote: "We want to thank you for pledging to ban this cruel and unnecessary sport.

"At the dawn of the new millennium outdated and barbaric activities such as hunting should be consigned to the history books and we urge you to support the Wild Animals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill."

The CPHA spokesman said other celebrity supporters of the campaign included Sir Paul McCartney and his daughter Stella, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Judi Dench, Richard Wilson, Jenny Seagrove, Angus Deayton and Jo Brand.

The Government, which is keen not to hand Mr Livingstone a publicity coup in the run up to Labour's candidate elections for the mayor of London, is now saying it will support a private member's Bill in the 2001 parliamentary session.