Commons vote for outright ban

 THE COMMONS‘ decision to reject a compromise and vote overwhelmingly to ban hunting with hounds has received widespread coverage in the national press on Wed (Nov 17).

Following a late evening session in the Commons on Tue (Nov 16) the Lords‘ amended Bill was rejected by 343 votes to 175. 

In a last minute attempt to reach a compromise the ‘Alun Michael Bill‘ was reintroduced on a free vote by Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies.

The Bill would allow regulated the hunting of foxes, but not stags or hare coursing.

But this was later defeated by 321 votes to 204.

The Guardian reports that although the ‘Alun Michael Bill‘ had the Prime Minister‘s support he was unable to show control over his Party MPs despite the efforts of his aides to put pressure on Cabinet members and support a compromise. 

Peter Hain, the Commons leader, voted for an outright ban, reports the paper.

In a last stand of defiance on Wed (Nov 17) the Lords are expected to reject the ban.

In which case the Commons speaker, Michael Martin, will deem the Bill has been blocked for two parliamentary sessions and invoke the Parliament act.

“It is time to fulfil what is a manifesto commitment to enable parliament to reach a conclusion on this issue,” said Mr Michael in Commons debate that preceded the vote.

“However decisive, everyone must accept it.” 

The Times reports that the Prime Minister was mocked by Conservatives who claimed he had done little until the past few days to fight for a compromise. 

They suggested he was trying to leave the impression that the ban was not his fault, it was a case of: “Don‘t blame me, I‘m the Prime Minister,” said The Times.

The paper also reports that the Conservatives are unlikely to use the issue to gain seats at the election.

Labour MPs in marginal seats believe it would be to their advantage if the Tories try to turn the hunting issue into an election issue, claims the paper.

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