The Daily Telegraph and other papers are reporting that Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to holding a free vote in the House of Commons the Hunting Act 2004.
After negotiations with the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives have secured a pledge to introduce a parliamentary vote on abandoning the ban. David Cameron has personally called for the ban to be lifted but the Liberal Democrats have previously opposed the move. The issue, which is understood to have been raised in discussions over the final coalition deal yesterday, had threatened to become a point of dispute between the parties. The Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to introduce a “free vote” on repealing the ban would have allowed MPs to vote as they wished on government legislation to allow hunting with dogs. Mr Cameron has had to water down the pledge slightly after coalition talks. MPs will now be given the opportunity later this year to vote on a parliamentary motion on holding a free vote on the ban. The free vote will only take place if a majority of MPs back the motion.