Blair confronted by protestors

THE PRIME Minister, Tony Blair, has been forced to meet two groups of hunt ban protesters who targeted his homes at Chequers and in County Durham.

On Fri (Sept 10) protests took place outside Mr Blair‘s constituency home in Sedgefield, County Durham, which only dispersed when the PM agreed to meet a protest delegation.

Richard Dodd, a member of the group to be invited in for tea, said that the PM had insisted there was nothing he could do to stop legislation to ban hunting.

And, Mr Dodd claimed the PM had blamed the progression of the hunting ban bill on the obsession of a group of backbench Labour MPs.

That claim was backed by a second group of protesters who blocked roads around Chequers on Sat (Sept 11) while the PM was hosting a party to celebrate Mrs Blair‘s birthday.

Protest leaders Polly Portwin and Emma Pearce, who lifted the blockade when Mr Blair agreed to meet them, said that the PM had repeated his insistence that there was nothing he could do to halt the legislation.

Ms Portwin said: “The Prime Minister said it [hunting] wasn‘t a priority to him, but that he would honour a promise made in the party manifesto.”

But neither the protesters nor Countryside Alliance chief executive were satisfied with the PM‘s answer.

“It is simply not good enough for the Prime Minister of this country to claim that he is impotent to stop a deeply prejudiced section of his Party passing discriminatory legislation,” said Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance.

“He knows perfectly well that by bringing forward a Bill to licence hunting the government fulfilled its manifesto commitment to enable Parliament to resolve the [hunting] issue,” said Mr Hart.

“If he allows this legislation to be driven through he will be openly supporting the vindictive discrimination of his backbench MPs,” he added.

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