Diary: Save the bulls,whales, stags, hares, and even the foxes
is a meeting on the fringe of the conference this morning which is fated
to be sparsely attended, and not just because it is at 8am. It will be gathering
of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting. Yes, that word is "against".
MPs who opposed fox hunting used to be as rare as Labour MPs who defended
it. Now there is a small but growing faction in the party who think it would
be wrong or foolish to repeal the Hunting Act. In their manifesto, the Conservatives
promised a free vote on the matter, with David Cameron committed to voting
League Against Cruel Sports has a list of 19 Tory MPs who they say would
oppose a repeal, most of them newly elected. Dominic Raab, Tory MP for Esther,
is the main speaker at this morning's meeting, though I understand that
while he is opposed to stag hunting and hare coursing, he is not necessarily
against fox hunting.
But his local party chairman, Chris Pratt, is married to a campaigner who
calls herself Blue Fox, aka Lorraine Platt, who is opposed to hunting with
"How can we influence other countries' policies on bull fighting or
whaling if we reverse a ban that was put in place to prevent cruelty?"
she asks. "I'm not a politician and I'm not in any animal welfare organisation.
I'm just a normal person in the street. Nearly everybody I know is against
a repeal, yet this is not reflected in our party."
Morning News 8-10-10:
meetings that start at 8am are not known as the hottest tickets in town,
especially given the "refreshments" being taken by delegates on
So expectations must have been low that a gathering of the Conservatives
Against Fox Hunting would elicit much interest. David Cameron, a keen
huntsman in his younger days, is indicative of a party not averse to raising
the stirrup cups. In their manifesto, the Conservatives promised a free
vote on the matter, with David Cameron committed to voting for legalisation.
despite this, sources suggest it was standing room only. Well, with just
one seat left empty, very nearly. It seems that the small band in the party
who think it would be wrong or foolish to repeal the Hunting Act is growing.....