Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour, Kilmarnock and Loudoun 5:00 pm, 23rd June 2011

The hon. Lady makes a valid point. The devolved Administrations have powers that they can use, but on issues such as this, which are important across the UK, it is important that DEFRA Ministers show leadership.

I understand that the Minister may be in a difficult position. It is always difficult if a Minister has strongly held personal views but the advice that they receive—legal advice, or advice from others in the Department or civil servants, or even from higher up their political party—does not correspond with those views. I hope that the strength of feeling shown across the House today will give the Minister the opportunity to give us hope that the Government might be able to move if this vote is passed. That is certainly what my constituents who have been writing to me all week expect. We have a consensus building in the public’s mind. It is time to show a consensual approach and, come voting time, to ensure that this afternoon’s vote is registered in support of public opinion, the organisations that have campaigned over many years and, most of all, the animals who would otherwise continue to be at risk.