Blue Fox responds to David Cameron's announcement on repeal in Western Daily Press. The Independent & Daily Mail feature Blue Fox campaign, March 2015
David Cameron could slash the Conservatives’ vote at the general election with his promise of a free vote on the ‘toxic’ repeal of the hunting ban to please ‘his friends in the hunting lobby’, a grassroots organisation has said.
In a clear plea to disaffected rural voters, the Prime Minister has written in the spring edition of the Countryside Alliance magazine that should the Conservatives win a majority at the general election in May, MPs would get the chance to repeal the ten-year-old Hunting Act.
The likelihood of such a scenario is slim; a similar pledge before the 2010 election came to naught when the party was forced into coalition. This year, with Ukip, the Green Party and the SNP all dividing the vote share, coalition is even more likely.
But that has not stopped Mr Cameron from voicing his “firm belief that people should have the freedom to hunt”.
He adds: “There is definitely a rural way of life which a born and bred Londoner might struggle to understand. I have always been a strong supporter of country sports.”
But supporters of the ban on hunting with dogs say that public opinion is 80 per cent in favour.Among them is Lorraine Platt, of the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, which goes under the name Blue Fox.
In response to Mr Cameron’s comments, she told the Western Daily Press that though Mr Cameron’s support for blood sports was well known, the repeal issue is “toxic and a vote loser”.Mrs Platt adds: “It will certainly alienate support for the Conservative party. Many Conservative supporters have told us that they witheld their votes at the 2010 election because of this issue and will do so at the 2015 election if the Hunting Act is threatened with repeal once again.
“One middle-aged Conservative supporter has copied us in to her emails to her MP saying she used to voluntarily drive elderly people to the polling booth for the Conservatives but is dismayed at the leadership’s support for repeal. She will not be voting Conservative again which saddens her. She asks us why the grassroots Conservatives aren’t being represented on this issue by the majority of Conservative MPs.
“We are contacted by some Conservative candidates who are against repeal and have introduced them to our anti hunting Conservative MPs in the Commons. Nine of these MPs recently signed a joint letter by Conservatives Against Fox Hunting and the Chairman of Conservative Animal Welfare to the Conservative leadership voicing their support for the ban and requesting that the repeal issue is dropped from any future Conservative manifesto.
“It is important that the Prime Minister is aware that there is as much support in the Countryside as there is in urban areas for the ban. Mr Cameron risks sacrificing his wider appeal for the sake of appeasing his friends in the hunting lobby which further enforces the view that he is out of touch with the majority opinion on this issue. It is dispiriting to see the Prime Minister appearing to use his position to push a personal interest issue which is overwhelmingly opposed by the general public.”
‘ More than two dozen Tory MPs gave their backing to the Conservatives Against Fox campaign’ in The Independent ,March 2015 http://ind.pn/1Nqedio
Blue Fox MPs in the Daily Mail, March 6th 2015 : www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2983119/Cameron-pledges-Commons-vote-bring-fox-hunting-Tories-win-election.html