Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire 2:15 pm, 18th November 2004

I shall get into my stride and then I shall happily do so.

Baroness Mallalieu said that the Bill was a badly drafted measure, which

"allows terrier work . . . in order to protect a pheasant or a partridge but not to protect a lamb or a curlew, which allows the hunting of rats but not mice, rabbits but not hares; which destroys jobs . . . homes . . . and does so without compensation".—[Hansard, House of Lords, 17 November 2004; Vol. 666, c. 1556.]

The noble Lady, a Labour peer, puts her finger on the spot. It is a "rank bad" Bill, which her amendments would do much to improve.

The House made clear its views on licensing versus banning less than 48 hours ago. I was delighted to go through the Lobby with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Minister for Rural Affairs and Environmental Quality and his boss, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to vote for the Lords proposals on licensing, although we ultimately lost the vote. It is odd that we are considering using the Parliament Act to drive through a Bill against which the Prime Minister voted only two days ago. That is a constitutional peculiarity to which I shall shortly revert.