LABOUR BACKBENCHERS look set to challenge the government‘s decision to delay the introduction of a hunt ban, reports The Times and the Daily Telegraph.
The government has planned to allow a two-year stay of execution for the hunts; a delay would allow time for hunts to re-home hounds where possible before the ban comes in to effect.
On Thurs (Sep 9) Peter Hain, The Leader of the House, admitted to MPs that the proposed two year delay would allow Labour to make Hunting an election issue.
He added that those against a hunting ban would have to vote Conservative at the election as they have pledged to overturn any ban.
However, several Labour MPs objected to the proposed two year delay and called on the government to honour its manifesto commitment that hunting would be banned within this parliament.
“Lets get on with it, deal with the matter because at the end of the day we made a promise and must keep it,” said Dennis Skinner, Labour MP for Bolsover.
The government‘s decision to use the Parliament Act to override the Lords was attacked by the Conservatives who said that more time should be allowed to fully debate the matter.
“The government has been up hill and down dale over hunting for seven years,” said Oliver Heald, Tory Constitutional Affairs spokesman.
“Now we are being told that this is so urgent that the Parliament Act has to be involved, but at the same time the ban can be delayed for more than two years,” he said.
However, this response met with a short reply from Mr Hain who said the commons had voted repeatedly for a ban and defended the two-year delay.
The Countryside Alliance has planned to target Tony Blair at his Sedgefield constituency home where he is due to meet John Prescott, the deputy Prime Minister.
The action there will be followed with similar action against anti-hunt minister and MPs.
The Daily Mail has reported that up to 200,000 hounds face ‘disposal‘ following the ban.
Mr Hain has approached the RSPCA to help re-home hounds where possible or put them down.