09 July 1999
Blair pledges to ban hunting

TONY Blair has made an explicit pledge to ban hunting before the next election, saying that legislation could be enacted as early next year.

The prime minister made the statement last night during an exchange on BBCs Question Time.

Labour MPs have made a previous attempt to ban hunting via a private members bill but that failed because the government refused to allocate parliamentary time.

It is thought that the government will introduce a blanket ban but it is also likely to consider a compromise.

The compromise would mean that local communities could vote in county-wide referendums to opt out of the prohibition.

It has been put forward to address Labours political concerns about alienating the rural vote.

  • The Times 09/07/99 page 1
  • The Independent 09/07/99 page 5 (The Friday Review)
  • The Guardian 09/07/99 page 10
  • The Daily Telegraph 09/07/99 page 1