Budget 2015: £250,000 allocated to tackle 'aggressive' seagulls

The £250,000 fund to deal with seagulls has prompted David Cameron to reveal his own battle with the scavenging birds

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Indy Politics

It was one of the more bizarre – and cheaper – measures of the Budget, but the £250,000 fund to tackle “aggressive” seagulls has prompted David Cameron to reveal his own battle with the scavenging birds.

The Prime Minister, who enjoys regular holidays on the seaside in Cornwall, explained how a seagull once swooped down from the skies and stole the ham out of his sandwich.

But before anyone accuses him of abusing his position of power by trying to get revenge, Mr Cameron insisted he does not hold a grudge against the seagull population.

“I haven't felt particularly oppressed by seagulls,” he told the Western Morning News. “In my distant past I remember some seagulls taking the ham out of a sandwich. But I haven't held that against the entire seagull population since."

 

The £250,000 fund is designed to stop seagulls from torturing hungry tourists across Britain’s towns and the Treasury says it acted after “reports of seagulls stealing people’s kebabs”.

But it is really the result of years of campaigning from Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath who even held a “seagull summit” three years ago to tackle the “pernicious problem” of urban seagulls.

He says they can be “very aggressive” creatures, and cause “mess, noise and damage to property”.

However the money may also have something to do with the fact that there are many Lib Dems fighting for their lives across the south west of England, a region particularly tortured by seagulls.

An analysis of Budget measures by the Financial Times found 16 of these kinds of examples where MPs in marginal seats have been given help in the form of direct funding, housing or enterprise zones.

It prompted an angry reaction from Labour, who accused the government of pursuing “pork-barrel politics at its worst”.

But the Treasury insisted it had not disproportionately benefited marginal seats, pointing to the government’s £13 billion investment in transport infrastructure in Labour-held strongholds in the north of England.

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