Labour blasted for 'pitting town against country' with fox hunting plans: 'What is the point?'

Labour blasted for 'pitting town against country' with fox hunting plans: 'What is the point?'

WATCH: Breakfast discusses trophy hunting

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 01/03/2024

- 15:38

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 18:07

A shadow cabinet minister said the party would close 'loopholes' in the existing ban

A dairy farmer has criticised plans from Labour to "close loopholes" around the fox hunting ban.

David Brookes ran the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Lower Loxley Farm, near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire for two years.

Labour has vowed to eliminate fox hunting within its first five years in power, claiming there is not a majority in “any part of the country” that wants to see it continue.

However, Brookes, a former Tory councillor, has hit back at the plans, accusing Labour of pitting town and country against each other.

\u200bDavid Brookes hosted the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Lower Loxley Farm in Staffordshire

David Brookes hosted the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Lower Loxley Farm in Staffordshire


He said: "I first got involved with hunting when I was town mayor. They were looking for somewhere to meet and I invited them to come and meet in the market square in Uttoxeter. Two three years ago, the space had been taken up with memorials for the fallen and I volunteered my farm yard for them to do it.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for folks in the countryside who have a passion for rural traditions for people to get together. It's celebrating the old traditions. We've lost many of the rural markets and the rural market days. Country folk haven't got a farm sale to go to, it's a great get together and a good social event.

"I think it is pointless for Labour to waste parliamentary time to do this. They will have their own agendas but It pits country man against town man and it never is a very good outcome. When it was introduced in 2004, it bought a groundswell of people in support for hunts.

"Labour shouldn't be pitting town against country. They need all the support that they can get."


People in the farmyard ahead of the hunt

People gathering for the hunt in 2023

David Brookes

When asked if it risked being drawn into the culture wars, he said: "There always is a danger in that. I don't think there's a finer sight in England than seeing a field in full flight. It brings a lump to your throat.

"Why do they want to sanitise everything because that's what they're trying to do. Remember with this Labour party under Starmer, who knows which way he is going. He doesn't seem to have courage for his convictions on anything.

"To me, when the hunts that we've been involved in it's about people getting out. When you sanitise it and make it formal, people don't want that formality. People want the unpredictable and to go out and explore.

"When we're here at the farm there was about 50 mounted, they ranged in age from a few years old to pensioners. These people enjoy getting out on the horseback and getting out on the trail."

A hunt ongoing

Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Lower Loxley, on the Staffordshire and Derbyshire border


He added: "A lot of these urbanites haven't got a clue about the countryside, they haven't got a interest in the countryside, it's about controlling things.

"With the Labour Party, if they can't tax it, they'll control it. If they can't control it, they'll ban it. If they can't ban it, they'll destroy it. That's the policy for Labour.

"One minute Starmer is doing one policy then another it's been quietly shelved. It's almost bizarre. Hopefully they'll see sense but it's not just hunting, it then moves to shooting, then fishing. It's against countryside.

"There's a lot of Labour supporters out in the countryside. They don't necessarily agree with all of this. What will this legislation achieve?"

Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, Steve Reed MP, told GB News: "The Hunting Act introduced under a Labour government was a landmark moment in the protection of wild animals. However, trail hunting is still being used to cover for illegal hunts.

"Labour will strengthen the Hunting Act to close loopholes that allow for trail hunts to cover for the illegal hunting of foxes, deer, and hares."

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