Call for Tory MP to declare stance on fox hunting with dogs

THE LABOUR candidate at the May General Election, Mike Le Surf has challenged the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock and asked: “Where does fox hunting supporter Stephen Metcalfe now stand on hunting with dogs?

David Cameron is under mounting pressure from Conservative MPs as supporters of hunting with dogs are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago.

A pledge to hold a free Commons vote on the ban was in the Conservative manifesto.

During the general election campaign Labour’s parliamentary candidate Mike Le-Surf made clear his pledge to uphold the ban on hunting with dogs which is overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the population.

But with the Tories back in power, the hunting ban could be repealed within 12 months with an early Commons vote expected.

Mr Le-Surf said:

“Should David Cameron have a free vote on repeal of the hunting I have to say I would vote in favour of repeal. The Act is an illiberal law, despite years of consultation and debate, and a Government inquiry, there was little evidence that hunting caused a demonstrable harm, it was voted through as an act of political vengeance.

The Hunting Act does nothing to protect wild animals from unnecessary suffering, nor does it promote their conservation.”

Mike Le-Surf disagrees and calls for Mr. Metcalfe to make his views clear:

“I was campaigning in the constituency to support the continuation of the ban on hunting with dogs. It is a real disappointment that The Tories are so keen to overturn the ban.

"How can this be a priority over the rise in number of people in South Basildon and East Thurrock turning to foodbanks for support. There should be no place in 21st century Britain for cruel and barbaric “sports” which exist purely to entertain the wealthy. It is a huge step backwards for animal welfare and Mr. Metcalfe needs to be clear whether he still supports fox hunting with dogs.”

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