American XL Bully dogs will be banned 'before the end of the year', Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says

  • Watch ITV News Central's Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie interview the Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak has said the government is working with experts to ban American XL Bully Dogs by the end of the year.

In an interview with ITV News Central, the prime minister said the breed of dogs "pose a danger to communities and to public safety".

He adds the government is "[bringing] together experts from the sector, [and] also the police, to figure out how to define the breed."

Yhe breed will be banned under existing legislation, the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, and that there will be "a transition period for how that happens," the PM said.

Mr Sunak told ITV News Central Political Correspondent Alison MacKenzie that "before the end of the year we'll have new laws in place."

When challenged on whether the ban should focus on criminal gangs who use the dogs for fighting, Mr Sunak argued that the government is already "clamp[ing] down on unscrupulous breeders" and that "this breed [...] does pose a danger, it's right that we take action."

The PM also offered his condolences to victims of "horrific" recent dog attacks in the Midlands.

Ian Price was killed after being bitten by two XL bully dogs in an attack near a primary school in Stonnall, Staffordshire on 14 September.

A week prior to that, an 11-year-old girl and two men were injured in an attack by an American bully XL and Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed puppy in Bordesley Green, Birmingham.

Calls for the breed to be banned - and counter-protests in support of the dogs - have since made headlines across the UK.

In a wide-ranging interview with ITV News, Mr Sunak also spoke about Home Secretary Suella Braverman's criticism of multiculturalism around the country.

Ms Braverman controversially used Leicester as an example of 'failed multiculturalism.'

Mr Sunak described multiculturalism as "not a big deal" and pointed to his own position as a success story.

He said: "The fact that I'm sitting here as someone who's of my background as Prime Minister in Downing Street is a great thing about our country - but it's also great that it's not that big a deal."

The Prime Minister was interviewed by ITV News Central's Alison Mackenzie. Credit: ITV News Central

However, Mr Sunak did not respond to the challenge that he outright disagreed with the Home Secretary.

Turning to the recent maternity care scandals in the Midlands, Mr Sunak said the government has "put more money in, in the short term to improve maternity services."

He added: "the NHS is going through a process [of] learning the lessons of what went wrong in the past to make sure that those [issues] aren't repeated."

The recent state and controversy over council finances also came up in the interview.

Responding to the question that the government has starved councils of funding, the Prime Minister cited Birmingham City Council's Section 114 saga as "an example of enormous mismanagement of that council", adding that he thought "people will rightly be frustrated and upset by what's happened."

Mr Sunak took the opportunity to hit out at the opposition, stating; "it's a Labour-run council, it's been woefully mismanaged financially, and that's why we're in the situation that we're in.

"That's nothing to do with the Conservative Government."

When it was pointed out that Conservative-controlled councils - like Derbyshire County Council - are also on the brink of bankruptcy, the Prime Minister said that it was "important that councils everywhere are [...] looking after their finances properly."

He followed up by reiterating he saw Birmingham City Council's financial crisis as, "a very high-profile, signature case of mismanagement of one of our premium cities by the Labour Party, and it's an example of what happens when Labour are in power."

Mr Sunak also spoke fondly of his own Midlands heritage and how his mum is from Oadby in Leicestershire.

"My mum's family - that's where my mum's from, from Oadby - my mum's family are still there, and the best Indian mithaai anywhere in the country, which I do tend to get whenever my mum and dad are back and they bring them for me here in Downing Street or up in Yorkshire, but it's a great place."

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