POLITICS

Fox Hunting Ban Will Not Be Repealed By Queen's Speech

27/05/2015 11:45 BST | Updated 27/05/2015 11:59 BST
Nick Ansell/PA Archive
Newly appointed environment secretary Liz Truss outside the Department for Education, London, as Prime Minister David Cameron starting putting his new ministerial team in place.

Environment secretary Liz Truss has said she would vote to bring back fox hunting, however she may have to wait a while as a Bill to repeal the ban was not included in today's Queen's Speech.

David Cameron promised in his general election manifesto to give MPs a free vote "with a government bill in

government time" on repealing the ban brought in by Labour in 2004.

But Tory MPs, who have long agitated for the ban to be lifted, look unlikely to be given that vote in the coming year. Instead the prime minister said the new laws proposed today were part of a "clear programme for working people".

Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning whether she would vote to bring back hunting with dogs, Truss said she would.

"It is absolutely a commitment that we will hold a free vote of parliament – it will be a government bill in government time. It’s a free vote, so MPs can vote as they see fit. It has always been a matter for a free vote," she said.

"I would vote in favour of repeal. It’s a matter for them, and it’s a matter for MPs. The whole point of a free vote is they are free to choose how they vote. I have been very clear about the way I would vote."

Any move to bring back fox hunting would likely face stiff opposition from Labour MPs as well as Tory backbenchers who favour a ban.

State opening of Parliament