Simon Hart has stepped down as chief executive of the Countryside Alliance (CA).

The move follows Simon’s election last week as MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Simon has spent 11 years at the CA — seven as chief executive — some of the organisation’s most active years thanks to the introduction of a ban on hunting.

In his letter of resignation, former master of foxhounds Simon said: “I would be delighted to do what I can to ensure the smooth running of the organisation during the succession period and in whatever way I can both now and in the future.”

CA chairman Kate Hoey — herself an MP — commented: “Simon’s contribution to the Countryside Alliance has been enormous.

“He has led the organisation and the countryside through unprecedented political battles.

“The continuing strength of the CA, the resilience of the rural community and the survival of hunting are due in no small part to his leadership.”

Ms Hoey added that a replacement is now being sought for Simon, who has agreed to oversee the transition period and handover of the role of chief executive.