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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


Alex Salmond: 'No ambition to lead SNP Westminster group'

Alex Salmond no planning to lead SNP at Westminster Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Alex Salmond says he has no ambition to lead the SNP Group at Westminster after declaring he is standing to become an MP.

The former First Minister is hoping to represent the Gordon seat in Aberdeenshire, which includes part of his current Holyrood constituency.

Mr Salmond stepped down as First Minister and the leader of the SNP party last month, after the Scottish people voted "no" in the independence referendum.

Alex Salmond to stand for Westminster seat

Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has announced his candidacy to run for Westminster in the Gordon seat.

Speaking in Ellon to a meeting of his local party he said:

"Almost twelve weeks ago I stepped down as First Minister. I said that I believed that Scotland could still emerge as a winner from the referendum process.

β€œIt is now clear what we have to do as a country in order to secure that progress; the progress which we were promised.

"It is incumbent on all of us to step up to the plate – to match the spirit being shown by the people. Therefore I can tell the constituency today that I am a candidate for the SNP nomination for Gordon.”

– Alex Salmond MSP, Former First Minister

Alex Salmond to announce bid for Westminster seat

Scotland's former First Minister Alex Salmond is to launch a bid to win a seat at Westminster in next year's general election.

Mr Salmond stepped down as SNP leader and First Minister last month.

It is understood he will stand in the Gordon constituency, a seat that shares some areas with his Aberdeenshire East Holyrood constituency.

Mr Salmond will set out his plans in a speech in Ellon in Aberdeenshire later this morning.


Dumfries and Galloway call for more flood relief

As the south of England deals with severe flooding, businesses in Dumfries and Galloway are calling for more flood relief to be spent here.

Many properties were damaged during the floods and storms at the start of the year, and after the Prime Minister stated money was no object for flooding victims, people in Scotland want to know how much funding will come north of the border.

Our reporter Fiona McIlwraith has been to speak to two businesses who have been affected.

Businesses and homeowners 'can't keep up' with flood devastation

Dumfries and Galloway council have called on the Scottish government to help them finance local flood defences.

Last week the Prime Minister said 'money was no object' in helping those in the South of England affected by the recent severe flooding.

But Councillor Colin Smyth has asked whether David Cameron's comments would mean Scottish communities hit by flooding would also receive help.

"The message we're sending the the Scottish Government is if you're receiving more money through the Barnett formula as a result of what's being invested in England, we want to see that money being invested in areas that are affected by flooding such as Dumfries and Galloway because the reality is that businesses and homeowners in this area can't keep up with the sort of devastation that they've seen as a result of the floods."

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Plea for more money for Dumfries and Galloway flood defences

Dumfries and Galloway council have called on the Scottish government to help them finance flood defences schemes to protect the region from future problems.

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron said that money was no object in helping parts of South of England after severe flooding.

Dumfries and Galloway also experienced flooding in December and, as businesses and homes are still coming to terms with the damage, councillors are asking that funds are made available for the region.

Calls for Westminster to help Scottish flood victims

Flood victims in Dumfries and Galloway are calling on Westminster to offer them they same support the South of England have been promised.

Flood victims are calling for more help from Westminster Credit: ITV News Border

Many homes and businesses have been affected by flooding in the area, and council officials say residents deserve some of the money David Cameron promised to flood hit families in Somerset.

Granny's Kitchen has been flooded twice in 13 months Credit: ITV News Border

In 2013 Carol Wither suffered flooding at her shop "Granny's Kitchen" which is in Newton Stewart.

Carol Wither, here in black, owns Granny's Kitchen Credit: ITV News Border

She feels more money is needed to help with local residents and shop keepers prevent flooding.

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