Labour angered by Tory campaign to repeal hunting ban

Conservative Environment Secretary Liz Truss offers wholehearted support

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The campaign to repeal the fox-hunting ban has gained momentum, as the Conservative Environment Secretary Liz Truss offered her wholehearted support and the pro-hunting group Vote-OK was found to be backing another MP.

A week after David Cameron promised to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing the fox-hunting ban that is unpopular among many Tories, Ms Truss said it never should have been introduced in the first place.

“The Hunting Act was a mistake, and I strongly support repeal… I completely agree that hunting is important for rural communities. It is traditional and part of the fabric of our countryside,” she told Parliament yesterday.


As head of the government department responsible for animal welfare and Hunting Act policy, Ms Truss’ opinion will carry a lot of weight in the debates leading up to the vote to overturn the ban.

Meanwhile, the Conservative MP for Hendon, Matthew Offord, was revealed yesterday as the latest in a series of politicians using the services of Vote-OK, a group fronted by Otis Ferry that provides volunteers to leaflet and canvas on the understanding they will vote to repeal the hunting act. Mr Offord holds the UK’s seventh most marginal seat, winning by just 106 votes at the last general election.

“I think it is well known that Conservative activists are travelling around the country helping in marginal seats. Among that number are people who support specific pieces of legislation but I am not responsible for their views,” Mr Offord told The Independent.

“I have not told anyone that if they assist in my campaign I will support any piece of legislation… my voting record shows that I am independently minded. What I am not prepared to say is who and how many people are assisting my campaign,” he added.

Labour reacted angrily to the growing Conservative campaign to repeal their  hunting ban, which came into force in 2005.

Shadow Environment Secretary, Maria Eagle, criticised Ms Truss for her opposition to the ban.

“With Britain facing a cost-of-living crisis because of his failing plan, David Cameron’s continued focus on fox hunting shows how out of touch he is,” she said.