Hunt supporters turf Parliament Square

  • The UCSW held a ‘village fete’ in Parliament Square yesterday as a final pro-hunting demonstration before MPs begin the summer recess

    The Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW) staged a ‘village fete’ in Parliament Square yesterday, which included hound shows, maypole dancing and laying strips of turf on the roads outside the Houses of Parliament.

    A letter was handed to Mr Blair by a cross-party group of MPs on behalf of the UCSW which stated that rural people, particularly those involved in hunting, have “lost faith that the institution of government will deliver a fair and just resolution to the hunting issue.”

    John Bycroft, a pest controller from Chipping Norton, said he was prepared to risk the midday Westminster traffic and sit on the newly laid turf to demonstrate for his grandchildren, also present, because “they will lose their homes if the Government introduces a ban on hunting.”

    “If the city is going to impose its will on the countryside, the countryside will just have to impose its will on the city. If necessary, we will come up and turf every street in London,” he stated.

    Jonathon Seed, master huntsman of the Avon and Vale Hunt, said: “We feel very strongly that a large number of MPs have turned their back on the countryside. I’ve been a supporter of law and order all my life but, if a hunt ban is introduced, I will keep hunting and believe that thousands and thousands of others will do likewise.”

    President of the Countryside Alliance, Baroness Mallalieu praised the effort that had gone into organising the demonstration and said: “Hunting is essential to the rural economy and community. People do not realise that hunting is not just to do with foxes. In many rural areas, the hunt is the backbone of the community.”

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