Over 400 members of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) gave a standing ovation to shadow foreign secretary William Hague MP at their AGM in London on 9 June, after he repeated strongly the Conservative pledge to assist repeal of the hunting ban.

A general election has to take place within the next 12 months.

“A Conservative government will give parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote and in government time. This has been our position and it will remain our position,” said Mr Hague.

There was applause when Mr Hague slammed the act, saying: “The passage of the Hunting Act revealed that Labour MPs’ respect for the views of minorities only extended to those minorities whose views they could readily agree with.

“The result was a piece of legislation so deeply prejudiced and so ridiculously unworkable that its existence weakens and discredits the laws of the land.”

Mr Hague said some had questioned the need for repeal, but he believed this was a dangerous argument: “This is a bad law and bad laws should be repealed, not ignored.”

But he warned that repeal would depend on a majority Conservative government and all hunts should play their part to help get the party elected.

For this article in full, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (18 June, ’09)