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Fox hunting vote plans shelved

Credit: Press Association

Government plans to put forward a bill relaxing rules on fox hunting in England and Wales have been pulled after the SNP revealed the party's MP's would vote against the proposal.

The SNP's stance meant the bill, which would only apply in England and Wales, was unlikely to win a majority in the House of Commons.

Fox hunting is currently banned throughout Britain - but in Scotland an unlimited amount of dogs can be used by farmers or landowners to flush out foxes.

In England and Wales there is a limit of just two dogs and the Government had wanted to amend the law to bring it in line with Scotland.

SNP MPs to vote on English fox hunting bill

Credit: Press Association

SNP MPs will vote against a bill to relax fox hunting laws in England and Wales.

A vote will be held in Westminster on Wednesday 15th July. The proposals would bring hunting laws in line with legislation in Scotland. But the SNP vote is likely to influence the result.

The party say it shows they can "wield real power" against an "arrogant government".

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP and SNP rural affairs spokesperson Calum Kerr says the party are now looking at legislation north of the border.

"We are completely opposed to fox hunting - indeed, there are moves within the Scottish Parliament to review the existing ban in Scotland and decide whether it is strong enough. To maintain the existing rejection of this cruel and unnecessary sport south of the border is therefore in Holyrood's interest.

"Voting against this proposed Tory amendment will hopefully sink it altogether and remind this arrogant and out of touch UK Government - which has refused to agree to any SNP amendments to the Scotland Bill and wants to turn our MPs into second class representatives by bringing in English Votes for English Laws - that the SNP can and will wield real power to frustrate their ambitions.

"We said during the General Election campaign that a powerful SNP cohort at Westminster would support progressive politics across these islands whenever it could. Now we are turning words into action."

– Calum Kerr, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP and SNP rural affairs spokesperson

Calum Kerr delivers maiden Commons speech

Scottish Borders MP Calum Kerr has raised the issue of English votes for English laws in Parliament.

The government has delayed the plans, and a House of Commons vote on the issue, which was promised before the election, now won't take place until September.

In his maiden speech in the Commons, Calum Kerr said ministers had "retreated in the face of Parliamentary numbers":

We see today, with the suspension of plans over English votes for English laws, ministers have retreated in the face of Parliamentary numbers.

We've sent them homeward to think again."

– Calum Kerr MP
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