Tory plans for a free vote on scrapping the foxhunting ban are to go ahead, despite opposition from many Liberal Democrat MPs it emerged last night.
Government sources said ministers had agreed the move at yesterday’s meeting of the Cabinet, despite concerns that it could split the Lib Dem Parliamentary party down the middle senior Government source said: ‘There will be a motion on a free vote in the House of Commons. The coalition will bring forward that motion enabling the House to express a view on repealing hunting.
'If the view is yes, that will require further legislation and there will be a repeal Bill.’
In a further sign of the new Government’s intentions, it emerged that the Agriculture Minister Jim Paice had also been made Minister for Hunting and Shooting - the first time country sports have had a dedicated minister for decades.
Who could be opposed to a vote? Well, supporters of the ban on hunting with dogs have opposed a vote in the past, and for a simple reason: they could not win. The ban itself was only passed with extra-legal tactics that were non-Democratic to the core.
So can ban supporters win a vote now, after the ban on hunting with dogs has been shown to be a legal and legislative farce? We shall see....