Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:00 pm, 18th November 2004

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is totally wrong, as he very often is. I did not say that the countryside has been misled; I said that those who are active in hunting have been misled by their leaders into thinking that this House would not act. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has acted with integrity throughout: he made it clear that he wanted to see a compromise and that he supported the Bill in the form in which I brought it to the House. He also made it clear that he respected the fact that for many years this has been a free vote issue for hon. Members—I thought that it was a free vote issue for hon. Members on both sides of this House. That is acting with integrity, and it does the right hon. and learned Gentleman no credit to cast doubt on that.