Countryside Alliance chief executive Richard Burge is to step down formally on 14 October. He will be replaced by Campaign for Hunting director Simon Hart, who was recruited for the role earlier this summer.
Many hunting supporters have urged the alliance to put Simon (pictured) in the driving seat at the earliest opportunity given the current threat to hunting and his obvious experience.
He was chosen to lead the backlash against the government’s mauling of the Hunting Bill on 30 June, while Richard remained in Ireland on “prearranged alliance business”.
In a message to alliance members, chairman John Jackson says: “We are confident that the House of Lords, which in addition to its revising role has the very important task of protecting us all from prejudice and perversity in the House of Commons, will rise to that task.
“We will support them by demonstrating a disciplined anger and this will be evidenced by many activities. Some ministers will find their visits to the countryside an unpleasant experience.”
Simon Hart says: “Although we are prepared for the worst, I am still confident that we can win this. Public opinion is on our side and although it will be a fight, it is by no means inevitablethat hunting will be banned, or that the Parliament Act can be used to force through such a discriminatory and unworkable bill.”
Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (17 July), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.