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Tories will ban hunt ban

ALTHOUGH PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has decided against calling a snap General Election – and being accused of ‘bottling it’ by his political opponents – the rejuvenated Conservative Party set out its stall at last week’s party conference, and foxhunting was a key issue in question.

As well as the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers and inheritance tax to be paid by millionaires only, as well as plans for zero tolerance on crime, the Tories made it clear that Labour’s controversial ban on hunting with dogs under the Hunting Act 2004 would be abolished by a future Conservative Government.

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance who is hoping to overturn former Labour minister Nick Ainger’s 1,910 majority in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said there were ‘1001 other things rural areas are crying out for’, and the ban should never been given political priority.

David Cameron has already indicated that he would scrap the ban if he becomes Prime Minister.
Mr Hart said, ‘It was never about people chasing foxes, it started as a bit of political party management and it was always about managing the Labour party, keeping rebellious backbenchers happy.

‘The legislation, whether people approve of it or not, people don’t think it’s the finest piece of work ever to come out of Westminster. Repealing it is not the Conservatives paying back favours to rural chums, it’s about doing away with a piece of legislation which is sub-standard. It can be done away with very quickly and easily – in terms of national priority, it never was one.’

Mr Hart said he was hopeful of taking the Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South seat in the General Election – whenever that may be – a key target for the Conservatives. The seat was won by the Conservatives at the Welsh Assembly elections in May.