Hunting supporters target Warwick police commissioner chief election


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The Independent Online

Hunting supporters who helped secure victory for a series of anti-ban candidates at the last general election are mobilising against a prospective police commissioner who voted to outlaw the blood sport while an MP.

Members of the Warwickshire Hunt have thrown their weight behind a local Conservative candidate, claiming his Labour opponent James Plaskitt, who lost his Warwick and Leamington seat in 2010 when he was targeted by members of the pro-hunt group Vote-OK, would prioritise enforcing the ban rather than addressing other rural crime.

Warwickshire hunt organiser Ian McConnel has led groups of volunteers in handing out 4,000 leaflets supporting Tory candidate Fraser Pithie.

Mr McConnel sought to rally interest in the elections in an email to supporters of the hunt that include Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester whose wife Barbara Abt is a former Warwickshire hunt master. “James Plaskitt, the Labour candidate, is openly opposed to hunting and will encourage the police to prioritise the monitoring and enforcement of The Hunting Act – rather than addressing far more serious and dangerous crime,” he wrote.

Supporters living in outlying villages have been deployed to drop Mr Pithie’s leaflets through neighbours’ doors, ahead of the vote on 15 November.