27 November 1998
Government abandons fox-hunting law

THE Government will not attempt to force through Parliament a ban on fox-hunting because it believes the House of Lords would sabotage the legislation.

Margaret Beckett, the Leader in the Commons, said the defeat of the closed-list voting system last week by the House of Lords made it clear that passage of a anti-hunting bill would be difficult.

She said that any such Bill would be unlikely to get ministerial backing because the Government had already met its manifesto commitment on fox-hunting with a free vote on the issue in the Commons last year.

Michael Foster, Labour MP for Worcester, failed in an attempt last year to introduce a Private Members Bill last year.

A ballot takes place in the next few weeks to decide which MPs get Commons time to introduce their own legislation.