AND HE CLAIMS TOP FIGURES SECRETLY BACKED BADGER CAMPAIGN
– Tory rebellion as new Ministers join Brian May’s war on hunting… and he claims top figures secretly backed badger campaign
– Rumoured that David Cameron supports the re-introduction of fox hunting
– Tories Dominic Raab, Caroline Dineage and Tracey Crouch are opposing it
– Joined the Queen guitarist’s anti-bloodsport campaign group, Team Fox –
May, who also opposes the badger cull, claims other Tories agree with him
27 June 2015 by Simon Walters
Three rising-star Tory Ministers have joined forces with anti-badger-cull rocker Brian May to stop the ban on fox hunting being scrapped. The move follows reports that David Cameron is not opposed to moves by pro-blood sports Conservative MPs to revive the practice. The three ministers, who include Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, are expected to attend the Commons launch on Tuesday of May’s new anti-hunting group, Team Fox.
It could put them on collision course with the Prime Minister, who rode with hounds before becoming an MP, after Queen star May made scathing remarks about him in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.
The guitarist said he ‘hated’ Cameron’s stance on hunting and accused those who enjoy the sport of ‘bloodlust.’ May said fox hunting should remain illegal like other ‘cruel activities once considered acceptable’ such as ‘wife beating and burning witches’. May said: ‘I don’t hate the man (Cameron) but I hate the fact that he wants to make hunting legal again. I find that abhorrent.’ He added that hunting was ‘uniquely cruel because the people who are doing it are doing it for pleasure’.
The Conservatives’ Election victory has led to some Tory MPs pressing Cameron to use the party’s majority – and its traditional support for hunting – to lift the ban imposed by Tony Blair’s Government. They say it was outlawed for ‘petty party political reasons’ and demonstrated ignorance of the countryside and rural traditions However, Mr May claims many young Tory MPs are on his side.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch are said to be supporting Brian May as part of his Team Fox which will oppose the re-introduction of fox hunting
Newly appointed Ministers Dominic Raab and Caroline Dinenage are among those tipped to support May at his Commons meeting. It will be co-hosted by May and Andrea Jenkins, the Conservative MP and professional singer who defeated Ed Balls in the Election.
May said: ‘A lot of independent-minded younger Tory MPs agree with us that fox hunting is cruel. They will vote according to their conscience.’
The Government has no plans to end the Labour ban, but pro-hunting Tory backbenchers hope to launch their own bid. Tuesday’s meeting is likely to witness lively exchanges after May invited pro-hunting Tory MPs to attend as well. May claims pro-animal rights Conservative ministers secretly supported his campaign to stop the Government’s cull of badgers to combat TB in cattle.
He says that they contacted him to suggest how to undermine the cull. ‘
It’s not skulduggery. They were brave enough to say, “My party thinks this but I disagree.” I have a lot of friends in the Conservative Party,’ he said. He refused to name the Ministers. May’s critics say he is ‘irresponsible’ to oppose the badger cull, introduced to make cattle more healthy. They also say that his claims about the cruelty of fox hunting are ‘wildly exaggerated.’