Following the news of Theresa May’s support for a repeal of the hunting act, there has already been backlash from Tory MP’s and Peers, several of which are members of the ‘Blue Foxes‘ (conservatives against fox hunting).
In this post, we’ll look at the current voting intentions of Conservative MP’s in the Gloucestershire area should a free vote be held in parliament.
There is no political bias in this post, but we are focusing on Conservative MP’s and candidates in Gloucestershire due to them holding the majority in parliament currently.
All quote extracts soured from MP’s and potential MP’s responses to Gloucestershire Live
Mark Harper – Forest Of Dean
Mark Harper believes the hunting act should be repealed – and would vote FOR a repeal in a free vote, citing:
“If we were faced with the same pledge as last time I would vote to repeal the Act,” he said. “I did not agree with it being banned and I am not opposed to hunting. I don’t see any problem with it.
“That is consistent with the position I have taken at each election.”
Gloucester – Richard Graham
Gloucester candidate Richard Graham took a more pragmatic approach and has focused his attention on matters such as Brexit and economic security as opposed to a return of fox hunting – but will likely vote AGAINST a repeal in a free vote citing:
“My view is as it has been for the last several years: there is no hunting in Gloucester and I have no interest in pursuing change to current laws. I am focused in this election on the core issues of economic security, Brexit, decent public services for the British people and continuing to lead Gloucester forward – not this.”
“If changes to existing legislation are proposed, I will look at them. But I am not in favour of repealing the Hunting Act and would not vote for it.”
Stroud – Neil Carmichael
Neil Carmichael did not give a decisive answer when asked the question, however, Stroud is a very progressive town, therefore it’s unlikely its residents would vote for an MP that would see a return to fox hunting. He said:
“I will take soundings on the subject,”
“We will see if we are in a position to do that, post General Election. It’s not an election issue.”
Tewkesbury – Laurence Robertson
Laurence Robertson of Tewkesbury was clear about his intentions for voting for a repeal, noting that he would read a new proposal, but thinks it’s a matter best left alone citing:
“I voted against the ban. If the issue comes up again I will look at exactly what is proposed, but given all the other major issues which are around I think the matter is best left.”
Cheltenham – Alex Chalk
Alex Chalk candidate for Cheltenham claimed he saw the logic of altering the current English ban laws and bringing them into line with Scotland’s, which are much more relaxed than the English laws, allowing a larger amount of dogs. He cited:
“Instinctively I can see the logic of bringing the English ban into line with that in Scotland, which is what was proposed in 2015. But if any proposals were to go beyond that, they would be highly controversial and I would need to consider them very carefully indeed.”
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown – The Cotswolds
Geoffrey replied to our email about his views on hunting, showing his support FOR a return to fox hunting:
“I have hunted all my life and represent a constituency with one of the highest number of hunts in the country. However, I believe that it is not the right decision to offer MPs a free vote on repealing the ban on fox hunting”
“I personally do not think it was necessary to reopen the issue as the current system works very well, however, I will vote in favour of it in order to support the many hunts in the Cotswolds.”
Labour Views On Fox Hunting:
It’s worth noting that Jeremy Corbyn has long since been an advocate for the hunting ban.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 13, 2015
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