20 December 2000
‘Labour to force hunt bill through’

By FWi staff

IF time runs out for the hunting bill, New Labour will make a manifesto pledge to use parliamentary law to ensure the activity is banned by 2002, claims The Guardian

The newspaper says the Government would invoke the Parliament Act if an election intervened before the present multi-optional bill reached the statute books.

The bill is due to have its second reading in the Commons on Wednesday (20 December) but many believe lack of time and an entrenched Lords could hold it up.

The Parliament Act allows the imposition of a bill on the Lords within 13 months of MPs first supporting a measure at second reading.

MPs will have a free vote on whether to ban hunting outright, set up a statutory regulator, or opt for self-regulation.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail profiles 10 workers at the Heythrop , from Chipping Norton, who face losing their jobs if foxhunting is banned.

The newspaper says the hunts 736 members pump 2 million a year into the local economy, which pays the wages of 10 staff and supports 95 businesses.

Times columnist Mary Ann Sieghart says the prospect of a ban on hounds is an appalling example of state intrusion.

She asks, since when has Britain become a country which is intolerant of others views and “would criminalise the pursuit of one of Mans oldest instincts”.