Straw to clarify hunting policy

2 November 1999

Straw to clarify hunting policy

HOME Secretary Jack Straw is to try to take some of the heat out of the fox-hunting debate and end uncertainty over the Governments plans.

According to the London Evening Standard, Mr Brown will make a statement on the issue within the next few days.

The newspaper reports he will say ministers are not prepared to change the law as part of the Governments programme for the new session of parliament which begins on 17 November.

But Mr Straw is expected to leave the way open for a fresh effort to change the law using a Private Members Bill.

Sources say Mr Straw will also propose a new compromise to take some of the heat out of the row.

Tony Blair appeared to promise that a ban on hunting with hounds would definitely come before the next election.

It was later made clear that the Prime Ministers off-the-cuff comments were not a binding pledge.

The last attempt at a Private Members Bill to ban hunting, from Labour MP Mike Foster, failed after running out of parliamentary time.

Any new anti-hunting Bill would need Government help, by making extra time available for debate, if it is to succeed.

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