Vernon's position on the proposed changes to the Hunting Act

The Conservative Party's manifesto included a commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.  The vote planned for Wednesday has now been postponed by the government, but they may well decide to bring this before parliament again in the near future.

I agree there can be no place in a civilised society for animal cruelty and I believe that the vast majority of the British public also support the ban on hunting with hounds that was introduced by the previous Labour Government through the 2004 Hunting Act.

I fought the General Election on a manifesto that included a commitment to defend the hunting ban and to build on the strong record the previous Labour Government had on animal welfare.

I will oppose any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act and I will continue to bear in mind the points raised by constituents on this issue.

I also believe that holding a vote on the Hunting Act at this time would distract from the real issues that are facing many rural communities - low wages, the shortage of affordable housing, improving infrastructure and protecting public services.