Cameron 'minded' to support circus animal ban
Saturday 25 June 2011
David Cameron insisted yesterday that he was "minded" to outlaw circuses from keeping wild animals after MPs of all parties joined forces to inflict an embarrassing defeat on the Government by demanding an immediate ban.
The Prime Minister was also forced to defend the methods of his Downing Street team after a senior Conservative MP claimed he had been bullied and threatened over his support for the ban.
Mr Cameron said it was "not right" to still have lions, tigers and elephants performing in the big top. "We are minded to have a ban, but need to clear some obstacles," he told a press conference at an EU summit in Brussels.
He attempted to laugh off the accusation by the Tory MP Mark Pritchard that Downing Street offered him a job in return for dropping his Commons motion on circus animals but warned him the Prime Minister would look "very dimly" on him if he refused to fall into line.
Mr Cameron did not deny his officials had attempted to change his backbencher's mind, but joked that his "gentle, reasonable" staff were more like Mother Teresa than "slathering Rottweilers". But his official spokes- man said: "We don't recognise [his] description of the conversation."
Despite Mr Cameron's conciliatory language on implementing a ban – and the promise by Agriculture minister James Paice to "respect the will of the House" – there were signs last night the Government was prevaricating.
The Department for the Environment is understood to be still arguing there are legal problems in implementing an outright ban and to be standing by its alternative proposal for a tough licensing regime for circuses.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 MH370: 'Putin ordered plane to be flown to Kazakhstan space port,' conspiracy theory claims
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...