Straw hunt announcement today

11 November 1999

Straw hunt announcement today

JACK STRAW, the home secretary, is to announce plans today (Thursday) to ban fox-hunting before the next election, The Independent confidently forecasts.

It says he will announce that the government is to make parliamentary time available to ensure a private members Bill becomes law.

Anti-hunt MPs have been told privately that ministers are ready to use the guillotine process to cut short debate on the measure to get the Bill on to the statute book.

The MPs have also been told that, if the Bill is blocked in the House of Lords, then the government is prepared to go as far as to use the Parliament Act to ensure it is passed.

The home secretary will attempt to head off criticism from countryside campaigners by announcing an inquiry into the impact of the ban on rural areas, particularly on jobs.

Last night Mo Mowlam, the minister for the Cabinet Office, announced that she had been appointed to chair a cabinet committee on the countryside.

The Prime Minister yesterday met the Middle Way group, which wants hunting to continue under licence.

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