'Senior Conservatives abandon pledge to hold vote on hunting ban'- Daily Mail 22nd April 2014
‘Senior Conservatives abandon pledge to hold vote on controversial hunting ban before general election ‘
Senior Tories drop pledge to hold vote despite it being signed off in coalition agreement
They believe it is unlikely to pass if held before next year’s election
Rural groups are demanding Tories include pledge in next manifesto
The government has abandoned plans to hold a vote on repealing the controversial hunting ban before the next election.
Despite the coalition agreement pledging that MPs would be allowed a free vote on the highly-strung issue, senior Conservatives have decided there is no point holding a vote before the election as most MPs support the status quo.
However, The Times reports that David Cameron has been issued a stern warning by countryside groups that rural communities will be less inclined to support the Conservative’s election campaign if a promise to repeal the ban is not included in the Tory manifesto
Some pro-hunting groups already feel let-down by the Conservatives, who promised to lift the ban in their 2010 manifesto. However, others accept that waiting until a vote is more likely to pass is the right move.
Simon Hart, Tory MP for Carmarthen West, who is also on the board of the Countryside Alliance, told The Times he would not ‘shed too many tears’ over the decision to drop the vote
He said: ‘I would much rather vote on the real thing when we think we have got the numbers to alter the outcome. The manifesto has got to be clear and unequivocal [about repealing the act].’
Abandoning the vote has avoided another potential bust-up in the Coalition, as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that even if the vote went ahead and the majority of MPs favoured lifting the ban, the Liberal Democrats would not agree to scrap the Act.
The Hunting Act was introduced by Tony Blair in 2004 and has proved to be one of the most controversial domestic measures of his premiership. Mr Blair has since expressed his regret at pushing the legislation through