The new coalition government is understood to be offering MPs a chance to vote on a parliamentary motion to offer a free vote on hunting.

According to today’s Daily Telegraph, the issue was discussed at length yesterday, due to opposition by the Liberal Democrats.

But the motion is understood to form some of the final points of the coalition deal — which is likely to be published shortly.

A spokesman for Defra told H&H there was no official statement from the new government.

The Defra spokesman said: “The story hasn’t come from us, we haven’t announced any departmental priorities.”

James Paice MP, whose south Cambridgeshire constituency includes Newmarket, has been given responsibility for hunting and shooting as Minister of State at Defra.