September 2004 - hunting 16-22.9.04

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Morecambe Visitor 22.9.04 MP slams Commons protest - AS ANGRY hunt protestors forced their way into the House of Commons last Wednesday Morecambe's MP, Geraldine Smith, was nearby watching the drama unfold…. (story)

Esher New & Mail 22.9.04 MP IAN VOTES AGAINST BAN ON HUNTING By TONY GREEN - ESHER & Walton MP Ian Taylor voted against a foxhunting ban after the Commons debated the controversial Hunting Bill last week…. (story)

Hunts Post 22.9.04 MP criticises Parliamentary abuse Report by IAN MacKELLAR - HUNTINGDON MP, Jonathan Djanogly, was on his feet addressing MPs when hunt protesters stormed into the chamber of the House of Commons last week… "The debate itself was probably the saddest day I've had in the House. The public is saying this is a gross abuse of the Parliamentary process. To use the Parliament Act (which enables the Commons to overrule peers) on a free vote issue, when all parties had free votes, was appalling," he fumed…. (story)

Taunton Times 22.9.04 TALLY-HOS CONFRONT TALLY-NOS - Pro-hunt protesters from the Taunton area have spoken of their disappointment following the Parliamentary vote to ban the blood sport. A majority of MPs voted to ban fox hunting by 339 votes to 155 last week, despite mass demonstrations outside Parliament…. Jenny Parsons, who organised a coach trip for the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, Taunton Vale Hunt and Taunton Harriers to the demonstration, vowed to fight any ban…. (story)

Basingstoke Gazette 22.9.04 Lord plans to let hunting continue by Julie Minter - A WELL-KNOWN Basingstoke landowner has pledged to defy the planned ban on hunting with hounds, by continuing to allow hundreds of huntsmen and women to use his land for the controversial bloodsport. The Hampshire Hunt has met on Lord Portsmouth's 3,850 acres of land at least once a season for more than 50 years…. Lord Portsmouth, of Farleigh House, Farleigh Wallop, this week vowed to flout the law if, and when, it is passed…. (story in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 22.9.04 HUNTING BILL UNDER ATTACK - Hundreds of hunt supporters throughout west Wales are prepared to risk jail by not supporting the Government's hunting ban. Thousands of hunt supporters from Carmarthens hire and neighbouring Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire travelled to London to protest against a fox hunting ban outside Parliament…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 22.9.04 A NUMBER OF ANTI-HUNTING MPS ARE LUDICROUSLY ADMITTING TO FIGHTING A CLASS WAR. TELL THAT TO WORKING CLASS FOOT FOLLOWERS OF THE CUMBRIAN FELL PACKS - BORN and bred rural Cumbrians are a minority group. Unfortunately, they are just not fashionable. As a rule, they are honest, decent people who understand and love their environment. Which is why many of them – who are greatly entertained by the metropolitan notion that they are all toffs – enjoy hunting as a means of controlling one of the farmer’s most vicious pests…. Toffs? Rural members of the Cumberland Farmers foxhounds hunt meet at Welton on bikesJONATHAN BECKER… (story)

Western Daily Press 22.9.04 ALLIANCE VOWS TO CONTINUE HUNTING MINISTER - Pro-hunt supporters last night pledged to continue to hunt Countryside Minister Alun Michael as well as foxes, as MPs slammed their campaign as "pathetic". The Rural Affairs Minister is due in the West today and is set to be targeted by up to 1,000 pro-hunt campaigners… (story)
Western Daily Press 22.9.04 WE WILL HUNT THE RURAL MINISTER ACROSS THE LAND, PLEDGES ALLIANCE CHIEF - Pro-hunt supporters pledged to continue to hunt Countryside Minister Alun Michael as well as foxes last night, as MPs slammed their campaign as "pathetic". The Rural Affairs Minister is due in the West today and is set to be targeted by up to 1,000 pro-hunt campaigners… yesterday he pledged to stand up to his pursuers and attend a National Parks Conference in Exeter this morning. Last night, despite being slated by MPs for their tactics, the Countryside Alliance pledged to continue to hound the Minister. Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said Mr Michael had no need to fear he would be "hurt", and that the hunt supporters only wanted to discuss the ban with him…. "He said two things which have outraged people everywhere. He admitted that the delay on the hunting ban was because of the election, and then told us that if we didn't like it, we could vote him out. That is the symptom of a tyrant - to suggest to a minority that they can outvote the majority, and no minority is safe. The rural community is only two per cent of the population and that is really, really unpleasant and vindictive."…. (story)
Western Daily Press 22.9.04 ALUN MICHAEL - MAN OR MOUSE? - Is he man or mouse? The man who piloted through the anti-hunt legislation chickened out of an engagement to mark the start of the "right to roam" scheme on "police advice". Since when Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, has made himself look even more ludicrous by failing to turn up for a trip in a paddle steamer, again on "police advice". Really! The man cannot surely be afraid of a few jeers and banners. One newspaper has described him as spineless as a bivalve fossil. You may think that is over the top, or you may not…. (story)

Telegraph 22.9.04 'No company will ever again set up a pension scheme' - As if there weren't enough pension problems, now there's talk that the Pensions Bill may be dropped to make room for the anti-foxhunting Bill. Teresa Hunter reports Last week, MPs had to dodge furious protesters as violence erupted outside the Palace of Westminster during the stormy passage through the House of Commons of a Bill banning fox hunting. But MPs are facing another wave of anger from a more sedate but equally incensed group if the Pensions Bill is now delayed to ease the passage of the anti-hunting legislation.... (story)

Guardian 22.9.04 Really, who cares about the toffs? - Catherine Bennett - The cover of last week's edition of Country Life featured a rugged huntsman on a lichened rock, a dog at his side and a sweep of open country dropping hazily away behind him. "Is it Goodbye to All That?" asked a coverline… George Monbiot's belief that the ban is a symbolic crushing of the feudal habit, has been echoed, with much crowing by fellow serfs on the Mirror and elsewhere, and now, with ramblers off the leash and the scent of blood in the air, the toff-hunt seems to be in full cry…. And yet, really, who cares? It was the one creditable achievement of Tony Blair, before he discovered his inner warmonger, to ensure that aristocrats would no longer govern us…. (story)

Guardian 22.9.04 Voters regard Commons and palace protests as security threats - Alan Travis - Ministers expect more "direct action spectaculars" to be staged by pro-hunting and paternal rights campaigners at next week's Labour conference, but the Guardian/ICM poll shows they are unlikely to attract much sympathy…. The results show a breakdown by party allegiance. A greater proportion of Labour voters - 61% - were unsympathetic to the protesters compared with Conservative voters. The pro-hunting demonstration, in particular, was seen at the time as a cause close to the Tory heart and the ICM poll bears this out…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.9.04 EX-NAVY PILOT CHALLENGES SCOTTISH HUNTING BAN - A pro-hunting campaigner from Devon yesterday launched a fresh legal challenge to the controversial fox-hunting ban in Scotland. Brian Friend, a member of the Union of Country Sports Workers, condemned the current legislation as a "malicious" restriction on a group of people as he began his three-day appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh… (story)
Times 22.9.04 Foxhunters have rights too, court told BY SHIRLEY ENGLISH - PEOPLE who hunt foxes should have the same basic human rights as “ethnic groups” such as Gypsies to practice their traditions and uphold their way of life, a court was told yesterday. Brian Friend, 62, a retired Royal Navy pilot from Membury, Devon, told an appeal court in Edinburgh that the ban on foxhunting introduced in Scotland two years ago was “a malicious and unlawful restriction on a group of people to which Labour MSPs have taken an unwarranted dislike”…. (story)
Scotsman 22.9.04 Fresh challenge to Scottish fox-hunting ban launched - RHIANNON EDWARD - A PRO-HUNTING campaigner launched a fresh legal challenge to the fox-hunting ban in Scotland yesterday. Brian Friend, a member of the Union of Country Sports Workers, condemned the legislation as a "malicious" restriction on a group of people as he began his three-day appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh… The Berwickshire Hunt supporter said Lord Brodie was "wrong on all the points of law" with which he dismissed his petition last year seeking a judicial review of the ban…. (story)
Daily Mail 21.9.04 Fox-hunting ban challenge begins - A pro-hunting campaigner launched a fresh legal challenge to the controversial fox-hunting ban in Scotland today. Brian Friend, hunt supporter and member of the Union of Country Sports Workers, is appealing against an earlier ruling that the legislation does not breach human rights…. (story)
Scotland Today 21.9.04 Fresh challenge to fox hunting ban - A fresh legal challenge to the Scottish fox hunting ban is expected to be put before the courts today…. (story)
BBC News Online 21.9.04 Hunt ban human rights challenge - Scotland's ban on hunting with hounds is to face a fresh legal challenge… Brian Friend, who has a home in Kelso, will challenge the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act at the Court of Session in Edinburgh…. (story)
Guardian 21.9.04 Scots fox ban back in court - Kirsty Scott - The two-year-old partial ban on foxhunting in Scotland will be challenged again today, days after parliament voted to ban hunting in England and Wales. At the court of session in Edinburgh a hunt supporter and member of the Union of Country Sports Workers, Brian Friend, will appeal against an earlier ruling that the legislation does not breach human rights…. (story)
Scotsman 21.9.04 Ban on hunting has taken heavy economic toll - STEPHEN McGINTY - WILLIAM Hodge looks across the Border to England with a mixture of pity and resignation. Hard times arrived at his stone farmhouse near Waterbeck, which he shares with his wife, Penny, two years ago when the Scottish Parliament banned fox hunting. As a similar law descends on England and Wales, he knows exactly what his fellow tradesmen can expect. "It’s been hard, very hard. Every year has been a struggle."… Under the old system, the fastest and fittest foxes would escape, leaving the hounds to dispatch the older, frailer beasts. Under the new system, riders follow the hounds as they pursue the foxes into the open, where they are then shot. There is no opportunity for the fitter animals to escape…. The attendance at each hunt has halved. Where, in the past, the Duke of Buccleuch’s hunt, for example, would attract as many as 100 riders, attendance is down to just over 30…. In the Borders, one group has even taken to using bloodhounds to track a human - a willing volunteer. Jeremy Whaley, who rode with the Borders Bloodhounds, explained that a local farmer and cross-country enthusiast is given a 40-minute start, then pursued…. While many expected the majority of hunts to fold, only one, the Dumfriesshire Hunt, did so, and even this is in the process of resurrection…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.9.04 Huntsman to fight Scots ban -A FRESH legal challenge to the controversial fox-hunting ban in Scotland is being taken to the courts tomorrow. Brian Friend, a hunt supporter and member of the Union of Country Sports Workers, is appealing against an earlier ruling that the legislation does not breach human rights… (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 350 Scottish hounds killed after ban By Tom Peterkin, Scotland Political Correspondent - More than 350 hounds have been put down as a result of the foxhunting ban in Scotland, it emerged yesterday.... The SCA said it had been necessary to cut the number of dogs by half because of the ban, which has cost rural communities an estimated £4 million a year. Around 200 of the hounds were drafted out to packs in England, Wales and Europe, but another 350 were culled.... (story)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 22.9.04 Huntsmen pledge to continue to fight ban - FURIOUS huntsmen from Droitwich Spa and Bromsgrove have vowed to continue to fight the controversial ban of hunting with dogs. Almost 100 pro-hunting protestors from the two towns joined some 10,000 others outside Westminster as MPs discussed outlawing fox hunting last Wednesday… Ian Frank, secretary of the Worcestershire Hunt, who was just one of the protestors last week, said: "We are frustrated and furious. Whether fox hunting is right or wrong, this was a total misuse of parliamentary procedure."… (story in archive)

St Albans Observer 22.9.04 MP 'outraged' after protesters used his name - PROTESTERS who stormed the House of Commons last week were allowed in with a letter purporting to be from St Albans MP Kerry Pollard. The pro-hunt campaigners stunned MPs when they broke into chambers during the fox-hunting debate on Wednesday in one of the worst breaches of Commons security in memory…. Mr Pollard said: "I was really outraged that my name was used and I went cold thinking about what could have happened to everyone there. We could have all been killed by these clowns."… (story)

Western Daily Press 22.9.04 SINISTER SIDE OF HUNT SABOTEURS - The first thing to say is that there are hunt saboteurs who are reasonably sensible and are keen to respect their own, and other people's safety. But there are others who are not. Western Daily Press readers must put the issue of hunt saboteurs in context - the vast majority of hunts will never see a saboteur in their years of hunting… Most saboteurs operate in the South East of England, indeed only one hunt is regularly targeted in the Daily Press area - the Avon Vale in Wiltshire…. Most recently, the biggest problem we had was when two Land Rovers full of hunt saboteurs targeted the Cowdray Hunt in the South East. They pitched up all wearing balaclavas and intimidated everyone they could… The Old Surrey, Bristow and West Kent hunt have regularly been targeted - saboteurs smashed their way in and wrecked the kennels. The huntsman, his wife and young children had to lock themselves in their bathroom. Then there are the links between saboteurs and the characters who have targeted the Huntingdon Life Sciences research centre in Cambridgeshire. Dave Blenkinsopp, who was convicted for a vicious beating of one of the scientists outside his home has also been arrested for beating up hunt followers…. (story)

The Sentinel 22.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS INVADED PARISH MEETING WITH MP - KAREN INCHLEY - Staffordshire Moorlands MP Charlotte Atkins was heckled by hunt supporters who laid siege to a parish council meeting. About 50 people from the pro-hunting lobby from across the country converged on the meeting at Ipstones, where the controversial schools review in the Staffordshire Moorlands should have been top of the agenda for the recently promoted junior transport minister…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal 22.9.04 Geed up over new hunt ban - BEST- selling author Jilly Cooper, a well known advocate of animal rights, said this week she had some sympathy for the hunting set. Although opposed to hare coursing and stag hunting Jilly, speaking after the House of Commons voted to ban fox hunting, said one had to weigh up the alternatives to fox hunting…. "My daughter-in-law Edwina was part of the demonstration in Parliament Square and said the police were unbelievable. "She's quite certain they were told to behave aggressively…." (story in archive)

Western Morning News 22.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS TOLD TO 'KEEP UP THE FIGHT' - The Countryside Alliance has announced its battle plans to try to block a ban on hunting with dogs - including a rallying cry to all its members to demonstrate at the Labour Party Conference…. Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said: "The alliance needn't worry. We will keep the pressure on."… (story)
Western Morning News 22.9.04 HOWLS OF DESPAIR FROM HUNTING DOG - We have found ourselves in the middle of all the excitement about hunting without even leaving the house. I was upstairs shaving when I heard the most dreadful racket coming from the kitchen. Both dogs were howling their heads off with the sound of hunting horns in the distance. Breakfast television was reporting on the Commons vote to ban the "sport"… Our Springer thinks he is a foxhound and can smell the pack and the men in red coats a mile away. Long before they are in sight or hearing he is down at the gate bellowing his welcome… (story)
Western Morning News 22.9.04 IN SEARCH OF DEMOCRACY - 'Slipshod laws quash the ability of people to make their own choices' THE Labour threat to invoke the Parliament Act to force through the Bill to ban hunting with dogs is nothing short of an abuse of democracy. I am left with my mouth hanging open. How can one party steamroll laws through the system this way? I find the structure of the British Parliament alarming. In no other democratic system does one party have the ability to change the fate of its nation along its own ideological lines…. What a cheap shot the Hunting Bill is. Looking for a way to ingratiate yourself with your Old Labour roots before an election? How about a pot-shot at the people in red coats?... (story)

Bristol Evening Post 22.9.04 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE - Oh Dear, I am sorry. I hadn't realised that my comments about the hunting ban made here last week were going to cause quite such a storm. I suppose I should have known that something was up when my man Whittaker requested a day off to go "shopping" and then marched off down the drive wearing his best tweed suit and an ancient cricket box with a carrier bag of Chinese fireworks under his arm. However, it was still a surprise to see him turn up on the Nine O'Clock News setting fire to a policeman's helmet and pushing a banger through Black Rod's letterbox… Quite what Mr Blah is trying to achieve in picking this particular fight at this particular time, I don't know… And the shameless huckster could at least have had the bottle to turn up to vote. No doubt the lentil-eating, sandal-wearing soap-dodgers will be cock-a-hoop that the kind of people who have never broken a law in their lives have now had a taste of what the violent and politically-motivated Poll Tax rioters got…. This is a fine mess Mr Blah has got the country into. The last civil war was between Roundheads and Cavaliers. The next one will be between Blockheads and Land Rovers. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 22.9.04 GIRL, 12, TELLS PM: YOU CAN'T STOP ME HUNTING - CHRISTIAN DEZELU - Twelve-year-old schoolgirl Lydia Morgan has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair to tell him she would rather be locked up than give up fox hunting…. Lydia is a member of the Crynant-based Coed y Glyn Foxhounds and has taken part in hunts with the Teifiside Foxhounds in Carmarthenshire and the Gogerddan hunt in Tregaron, Mid Wales…. Banwen Miners huntsman Mark McManus said: "My opinion is that we will not have to put any animals down because we will keep going…(story)

South Wales Evening Post 22.9.04 TORIES WANT AMS TO WORK MORE HOURS - Long holidays every year could become a thing of the past for AMs if the Conservatives have their way…. The Conservatives published a list of 30 issues they considered should be included in a work programme for the year ahead. It includes an inquiry into hospital waiting lists, a review of the treatment of asylum seekers in Wales, a study of the impact of wind farms, and the impact on Wales of the Government's proposed ban on hunting with dogs. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 22.9.04 ARE OUR AMS REALLY WORTH THE SALARY? … Conservative AMs are beginning a campaign to increase the time members spend at the Assembly… The Conservatives think not and point to 30 issues they want to see debated at the Assembly's plenary sessions in the coming months. They include hospital waiting lists, wind farms, the treatment of asylum seekers in Wales and the effect of the Government's proposed ban on hunting with dogs… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 22.9.04 HUNTING DOWN THE LIB-DEM OPINIONS - Do I detect a few chinks in the Liberal Democrats' armour of unity? Indeed, the current rift over fox-hunting between prominent Swansea-based Assembly member Peter Black and the leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Lembit Opik, has spilled into the public domain. Mr Opik, the Montgomery MP who voted against a ban on hunting with dogs in the Commons last week, said in a newspaper interview he thought violence and civil unrest would take hold in the countryside if a hunting ban was imposed… Peter Black condemned the remarks as a disgrace and took issue with the suggestion that young men would turn to violence and others would risk imprisonment or fines to defy the ban. He said: "In saying that he believes that such a thing could happen, Lembit has got off the fence and effectively issued a call to arms," Mr Black said on his website…. (story)

South Wales Guardian 22.9.04 Carry on hunting! by Huw Waghorn - SCORES of Towy Valley jobs are on the line and lifestyles threatened as the Government forces through controversial legislation to ban hunting with dogs…. FUW county chairman Nick Somerfield, who farms at Bethlehem, said: "I think it's disgusting the way this bill has been forced through…. Members of the Llandeilo hunt say they are willing to openly break the law and have pledged to turn out for the annual Boxing Day hunt - regardless of what parliament says… (story in archive)

Northwich Chronicle 22.9.04 Hunt's supporters vow fight will go on - Special Report By Helen Cartwright, Northwich Chronicle - MORE than 1,000 hunt supporters from Cheshire took part in Wednesday's demonstration out-side the Houses of Parliament… Among those protesting in London on Wednesday was Richard Thomas, joint master of the Sandiway-based Cheshire Hunt, who claims the battle to maintain hunting with hounds is far from over…. (story)
Crewe Guardian 22.9.04 Joint master is delighted with turnout - Wednesday's demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Richard Thomas, joint master of the Cheshire Hunt and chief executive of Chester Racecourse, who says the battle to maintain hunting with hounds is far from over…. (story)
Crewe Chronicle 22.9.04 County group seeks U-turn By Alan Jervis, Crewe Chronicle - THE Cheshire Hunt is hoping the Government will be forced into a U-turn after the vote to ban foxhunting. Hunt spokeswoman Ellie Boddington said: 'While we would not condone anything which is illegal, the publicity has been enormous, and hopefully it will make Tony Blair think again…." (story)

Crewe Chronicle 22.9.04 Politician slams bid to ban fox-hunting By Guy Basnett, Crewe Chronicle - VETERAN Crewe and Nantwich MP Gwyneth Dunwoody has criticised Tony Blair's Government over banning fox-hunting, saying it is not vital legislation. Mrs Dunwoody was among the few Labour Party members who did not vote in the Commons, and says the disgraceful scenes there will only hamper the pro-hunt cause. She said: 'I'm sorry to see that the Parliament Act is being used to push this Bill through, something that is plainly not vital legislation…." (story)

East Grinstead Observer 22.9.04 'We will carry on' say hunters By Maheesha Kottegoda - A MAN who marched at the profox-hunting rally in Westminster has challenged residents and MPs to experience the thrill of the chase for themselves. Graeme Worsley, of Effingham Lane, Copthorne, claims people may be swayed to support the sport if they were able to make an informed decision by accompanying the hunt. Mr Worsley, who is huntmaster of the Old Surrey and Burstow hunt, marched in the Westminister protest after a morning hunting… Fellow Old Surrey hunt member, farmer Anthony Dod, 45, suffered concussion in last Wednesday's clashes with police. He said: "I remember seeing the police passing over me and I received a heavy blow to the head. I assume a boot hit me. I was able to stand and I was hit in the thigh by a police officer. I tried to get his number, but they threw me to the ground and jumped on top of me…." Mr Dod said police accused him of troublemaking at 1pm but he was able to prove his innocence by producing a rail ticket which showed he had not arrived at the scene until after 2pm…. (story)

Reading Chronicle 22.9.04 Hunting lobby's quarry is MP Rendell - PRO-HUNT campaigners verbally abused Newbury MP David Rendel as he enjoyed lunch at the Royal County of Berkshire Show…. He was accompanied by security guards to lunch, where he arrived before the demonstration started. Mr Rendel told the Newbury & Thatcham Chronicle: "I went outside to speak to them and they put a number of points to me. They were not really prepared to listen to my answers and they started getting abusive and it was agreed I would go back inside…." (story)
Reading Chronicle 22.9.04 Jobs on the line after ban - COUNTRY sports such as hunting touch the lives of people employed in activities a long way from the actual chase or killing of the quarry, Lord Carnarvon said on Friday night…. A RALLYING cry came from hunt supporters as visitors were invited to meet the hounds at the Royal County of Berkshire Show for possibly the last time… Master of the Taunton Vale Harriers Alan Thomas told the crowd on Sunday: "Last Wednesday I went to the Houses of Parliament to demonstate against the ban on a sport I've been associated with for 41 years. If this goes ahead half the hounds you see before you will be destroyed in two years time…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 22.9.04 What now for hunting? by Emma Edmuds - "A SLEDGEHAMMER to crack a nut" is how two local MPs have described the Government's handling of the bill to ban hunting with dogs. John Greenway, Conservative MP for Ryedale, and Lawrie Quinn, Labour MP for Scarborough and Whitby, have criticised the Government for its handling of the issue through Parliament…. (story in archive)

Lynn News 22.9.04 MP HENRY CAUGHT UP IN COMMONS PROTEST - WEST Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham is standing by his personal assistant caught up in an investigation after a group of protesters burst into the House of Commons on Wednesday…. (story)

Amesbury Journal 22.9.04 Pro-hunters vent their anger during London demonstration - DOZENS of south Wiltshire campaigners stormed Parliament Square last week, to vent their anger over a possible hunting ban. More than 50 representatives of Wilton Hunt joined the 10,000 protestors who had flocked to Westminster objecting to government legislation - which could see hunting made illegal from July 2006…. (story in archive)
Amesbury Journal 22.9.04 Hunt ban `will hit rural jobs' - THE livelihoods of dozens of south Wiltshire's rural workers will be wrecked if a hunting ban comes into force in 2006. That is the message from farrier Cliff Barnes (32), of Figs-bury Rings, near Salisbury, who says he could lose his house and his business if hunting is outlawed… (story in archive)

Cambrian News 22.9.04 “Banning hunting will destroy our communities,” say pro-hunt protesters - PRO-HUNT campaigners this week vowed to carry on resisting MPs’ overwhelming vote for a ban. Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Montgomeryshire huntsmen who witnessed bloody scenes during a mass protest outside Parliament said they would go on protesting - and continue to hunt even after the ban begins in the summer of 2006… Alun Lewis, of the Vale of Clettwr, said: “Hunting is a way of life and we will not give it up. They can try to arrest us and to prosecute us - it will make no difference…." The secretary of Plas Machynlleth Hunt, Nick Fenwick, claimed the ban was an attack on rural communities, where hunting was supported by a “massive majority”…. (story)

Knutsford Guardian 22.9.04 Huntsmen tell Blair: It's not over - FOX-HUNTERS this week warned the Government - and the public - to prepare for a long battle. Richard de Prez, joint master of the Over Peover-based Cheshire Forest Hunt, said the ban was an infringement of their human rights…. (story in archive)

Skegness Standard 22.9.04 PROTESTORS USED FORGED INVITATION - HUNT protestors who stormed the House of Commons used a forged invitation from Louth and Horncastle MP Sir Peter Tapsell…. (story)

Wirral Globe 22.9.04 Royal Rock warns of 'battles ahead' - THE MASTER of one of the oldest hound packs in the world has vowed to continue hunting in South Wirral even if it is made illegal. Peter Jones, 45, master of the Royal Rock Beagles, said he felt so strongly about the 'unjustness' of the Hunting Bill that he will flout it even if it means going to prison…. (story in archive)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: Hunting foxes is not a country sport at all - What I find most objectionable about the fox hunting debate is the way the pro-hunting lobby uses Goebbels-like propaganda tactics to rewrite history in their favour…. -Richard Prangnell, Hove (letter)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: No going back - They can have their "sport" without ripping foxes to pieces. They can "drag" hunt. So no hounds need to be killed - although they do that anyway to those without the "blood-lust"… -Elizabeth Taylor, High Salvington (letter)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: Ban these too After fox-hunting and smoking, here are some other things the Government ought to ban. 1. Alcoholic Drinks. I'm teetotal and what you don't get you don't miss…. 6. Religion and politics. I envy people who are atheists and anarchists. What a better world if both didn't exist. -David Broughton, St Leonards (letter)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: Real bravery I was outraged at your article regarding the hunting protest and Stephen Mockford appearing to be some sort of hero. He said he had hunting in his soul. I think that shows us he is not a peaceful man but a cruel one…. -Jo Spiegel, Saltdean (letter)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: No sympathy - For about a millionth of a nano-second I felt sorry for hunting supporter Stephen Mockford, covered in blood after protesting outside Parliament (The Argus, September 17). Hunted foxes are not lucky enough to get away with a scratch like that….-Robert Stuart Nemeth, Hove (letter)

Argus 22.9.04 Letter: No ban action - I was appalled to hear Countryside Alliance followers threaten to continue with direct action measures against the fox-hunting ban…. -RG Jenkins, Hove (letter)

Stevenage Herald 22.9.04 Double standards - SIR - Fox Hunting - So Tony Blair would rather save his own skin than the skin of thousands of innocent animals, hey? That figures! He is delaying a ban on fox hunting until after the next election, so that he isn't embarrassed by mass demonstrations by the bloodthirsty gentry during the election campaign!... PETE PERRY, Carters Close, Stevenage (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 22.9.04 Ashamed of farmers From Ivan Westley, Leger Close, St Ives - FARMERS are responsible for our loss of hedges and our birds and are responsible for poisoning our food with their toxic sprays. Now they are saying they will break the law if the House of Commons says yes, as it has said before, to the banning of hunting with dogs. As someone who has lived in a rural area 75-plus years I say I am ashamed of our farmers. (letter)

Manchester Evening News 23.9.04 Such hypocrisy - WHAT a palaver! Five people breach archaic parliamentary security and confront a handful of our elected representatives in their ivory tower . . . shock horror . . . MPs travel everywhere first class, protected, cosseted and pampered, dodge interviews and questions when in tricky circumstances, and we can’t shut ’em up or get ’em off TV when they are on a roll. The rest of us can’t walk the streets and cities safe at night - muggings, shootings, assaults, car-jackings, you name it. There are always plenty of police at demos, laying into folk, be they miners, print workers, anarchists, pro-hunters or whatever…. David Christer, Timperley (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 22.9.04 HUNT WAS AN EYE-OPENER - I Love animals, own my own ponies and dogs, live in the countryside and worked for the RSPCA. I love foxes. They are stunning and intelligent animals. I went on my first hunt last year. The members were very welcoming, not 'stuck up' posh people but ordinary, hard-working and genuine. Foxhounds are not vicious killers but friendly, inquisitive dogs…. Mrs J Mitchell, Carmarthen (letter)

Liverpool Echo 22.9.04 REGARDING the demonstration by the Countryside Alliance: I have been on a number of demonstrations… But I have never witnessed the savagery and hatred displayed by the pro-hunt mob outside the House of Commons. Frank Foley, Garston, Liverpool 19.(letter)

Western Mail 22.9.04 Ban supporters ignore ruthless killing by foxes - Are all those people who are for the banning of fox hunting, including the Government, going to pay for the loss of livestock from the ever-hounding fox?... H WILLIAMS, Butetown, Rhymney, Gwent (letter)

Daily Record 22.9.04 STRAIGHT FROM FOX'S MOUTH ON Channel Four racing, smug horse-racing pundit John Francombe was asked for his opinion on fox hunting.... Presumably, the next time he goes to the dentist for a tooth extraction, he'll refuse an anaesthetic. M. Nesbitt, Mount Florida, Glasgow
STRAIGHT FROM FOX'S MOUTH WHERE were the people who are protesting about a ban on fox hunting, a pastime for the rich, when the miners were fighting for their jobs? A. Douglas, Livingston
STRAIGHT FROM FOX'S MOUTH - WHEN fox hunting is banned in England and Wales in 2006, will the ban apply to members of the Royal Family, aristocrats and the landed gentry?... J. Cumming, Glasgow (letters)

Western Daily Press 22.9.04 FOX CONTROL EVIDENCE OVERLOOKED THE OBVIOUS - The letter by Kevin Hill and Peter Whit headed "Foxes don't need control", should really have read "Beware! Take with a pinch of salt"…. No hunting actually took place for nine months during the foot-and-mouth crisis but what Messrs Hill and White conveniently omitted was that five months of that period were during the summer when no hunting takes place anyway. In reality therefore, only four months' hunting time was actually lost and nobody knows how many foxes were shot etc during that period…. Ray Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.9.04 FOXES DON'T NEED CONTROL - We would like to reply to a recent letter entitled, Hunting Is Best Way to Kill Foxes… Research has shown that foxes, like other wild mammals, regulate their own numbers according to the availability of food and habitat and that the population does not need to be controlled by man…. Kevin Hill and Peter White IFAW Hunt Monitors (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.8.04 HUNTING IS BEST WAY TO KILL FOXES - In reply to the letter titled Holiday hell for 8,000 fox cubs, if hunting is banned, the following year will mean 8,000 more…. I ask Kevin Hill and Peter White, what better way have they to control the fox population other than by controlled hunting by hounds? M Yeoman Ditcheat Shepton Mallet Somerset (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 5.8.04 DEATH IS NEAR FOR YOUNG FOXES - Kevin Hill and Peter White, IFAW hunt monitors. (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 5.8.04 Stop this cruelty now - KEVIN HILL and PETER WHITE, IFAW Hunt Monitors, Albert Embankment, London. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 3.8.04 Stop this slaughter - This month sees hunts across England and Wales targeting defenceless fox cubs to train young hounds and give them a taste for the kill. As full-time hunt monitors for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, it is our job to film the activities of fox and deer hunts across the UK. We are not hunt saboteurs… We urge your readers to write to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, London, asking him to introduce a new Hunting Bill this September. Kevin Hill and Peter White, IFAW Hunt Monitors, IFAW, Albert Embankment, London (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 22.9.04 10,000 ANIMALS LOST EVERY YEAR - North Wiltshire MP James Gray stated that 30,000 to 50,000 hounds would be put down as soon as a hunting ban comes in. What he failed to tell us, was how many are put down every year that hunting continues - probably 10,000 per year…. Name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.9.04 TACTFUL DISPOSAL - We wish to pay tribute to the hunt master and kennel staff of the Vale of the White Horse. Although we do not hunt, we are a horse family of 40 years and we have always relied on the hunt kennels to humanely put down and remove sick or old horses from our stables. The kennel staff have always been kind, polite and patient, always giving us time to leave the property on a very stressful day while they did their work… The Bone family Wootton Bassett Wiltshire (letter) href="">Western Daily Press 22.9.04 WHY BREED YET MORE HOUNDS? - Last night I watched the Rolf Harris programme and saw caring, compassionate people doing everything possible to save the lives of tiny, abandoned fox cubs. What a contrast with the antics of the hunting brigade, with cub-hunting in full swing, doing everything possible to ensure the savage and brutal end of whole families of foxes and their cubs…. Jean Turner Plymouth Devon (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 22.9.04 True face of cruel group - The thuggish behaviour of some pro-hunt supporters outside the Houses of Parliament must have come as a surprise to many who have been forced-fed the myth that only those opposing fox hunting are capable of such conduct…. Edward Davies, Cobden Street, Stourbridge (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 22.9.04 Fancy a couple of hounds, Peter? I welcome Peter Rhodes' piece on hunting being "riddled with lore and half-truths" and claiming that hounds can all be re-housed with the help of a few tit-bits if hunting ends. This is a perfect example of prejudice over evidence. The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW), charged with looking into this issue, reported recently that the most successful candidates for rehoming would be carefully-selected bitches under two years of age…. Meanwhile, in the real world, cute domesticated strays are put down in great numbers, despite the best efforts of dogs' homes and the wealthy RSPCA. The supply of retired greyhounds also exceeds available homes…. Richard Follis, Chairman, Albrighton Woodland Hunt, Enville. (letter)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 20.9.04 Don't be a toffee-nose - With regard to Peter Rhodes' biased comment on "Toffs" fox hunting: What is a Toff? I was lucky enough, in my early 50s, to buy a fine but oldish hunter's horse for £1,000…. My day's hunting cost less than a ticket to a First Division football match… Come on people of the UK, live and let live. PS - Some newspaper Editors are Toffs. I bet the Editor will not print this letter. G Morris, Blithbury Road, Rugeley. (letter)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 17.9.04 Shoot Batman? What a joker! Peter Rhodes … The hunting lobby claims that tens of thousands of foxhounds will have to be destroyed if hunting is banned, as they are “totally unsuitable” as family pets. Nonsense. Hunting is riddled with lore and half-truths. There is nothing special about foxhounds. They are dogs like any other dogs. Given the choice between the savage, short and dirty life of a pack hound and a family home with human affection and en-suite titbits, most hounds would opt for the soft life…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 22.9.04 Hunt ban will not save a single fox - I was amazed by this Government pressing ahead with its flawed Hunting Bill. We have enough problems in this country and many more important matters that need this Government's attention…. A. SCOTT, Cirencester

Lincolnshire Echo 22.9.04 SORT OUT CRIME BEFORE YOU TAKE ON THE FOXES - I Am not a direct supporter of fox hunting, nor am I opposed to it. I support the right of individuals to carry out legal activities as they so choose. Foxes are vermin and need to be controlled. Hunting seems to be the practical way… Direct your energies in a useful way, into important matters. DAVID C. ROGERS Fleets Road, Sturton by Stow.
I just cannot comprehend the attitude of the fox hunting fraternity as reported in the Echo on September 15 and 16. In particular one of the justifications for retaining this cruel and barbaric pastime is that it will cost jobs and render some of the workers homeless. If this really was the case, then it says something rather unpleasant about the people who employ the workers within the various hunts…. DENNIS SUTHERLAND Newark Road, North Hykeham (letters)

Northern Echo 22.9.04 HUNTING - THE House of Commons voted by 356 votes to 166 to ban the cruel and barbaric activity of foxhunting. The same day, the pro-hunt campaigners were boasting about 10,000 demonstrators, but there are millions of people out there who are anti-hunting…. Tory MPs, when interviewed, openly said on camera they would support this scum… JL Thompson, Crook.
EVERYONE should be entitled to their right to protest peacefully and though I do not share the sentiments of the pro-hunt supporters who gatecrashed the House of Commons on Wednesday, hats off to the lads who certainly managed to make their point. However, two issues are worrying about this whole hunt ban business. The first was the performance of the protestors outside Parliament…. I work as a nurse and I would love to see an end to illness and suffering, even though it would mean I would be out of a job along with tens of thousands of health care workers. - J Blades, Thirsk
WITH the 'saving' of foxes by banning foxhunting, by what method will foxes be eliminated? Will it be by poisoning, snares or by shooting?... The next task for animal rights activists will be to save fish from being tortured before being killed and eaten. The move will then be to prevent mice being killed in a hurtful way, so perhaps mouse traps can be banned. - E Reynolds, Wheatley Hill (letters in archive)

Oxford Mail 22.9.04 Commons' invasion was an inside job - The comment by Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury, that last week's invasion of Parliament by members of the pro-hunt lobby could be counter-productive (Oxford Mail, September 16) is a slight understatement…. I was employed in these buildings for nearly two years and cannot believe that this invasion of democracy was nothing more than a chance occurrence…. When the individual responsible for organising this little jaunt, along with the culprits who carried it out, are brought to book, I hope the authorities make sure the punishment meted out is severe enough that anyone thinking of carrying out such a thing in the future will think twice before doing so…. Mick McAndrews (Councillor) Oxfordshire County Council County Hall Oxford (letter in archive)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 22.9.04 Hunting ban is mark of a civilised nation - Sir - The recent pro-hunting demonstration outside Parliament would not have escaped the notice of your many readers, but what they may have missed was the mass hypocrisy of these who voted to outlaw hunting with dogs. My position has always been absolutely clear, I do not and would not ever condone or support the hunting of animals with dogs, neither do I regard it my place to tell millions of country people how to live their lives…. John Mansfield, Station Road, Cuffley (letter)

Knutsford Guardian 22.9.04 Hunting belongs in the past - THE ban on fox hunting, simple as it seems to be, has opened up the class war of the past, which had been partly laid to rest in recent years…. If the killing of the fox is not important to the success of the hunt then drag hunting can surely satisfy the pro-hunters and retain the employment for those who work in hunting…. NAME AND ADDRESS, SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Northwich Chronicle 22.9.04 Hunting ban is wrong - I READ with interest your article about hunting in this week's issue of the Guardian. I have, during this year, written several letters to Mike Hall our MP, who although has little knowledge of hunting, has made the decision he is against it…. PAULA HAYNES, Kingsley (letter in archive)

Amesbury Journal 22.9.04 Hunting: insult by politicians - YOUR correspondents last week on the subject of the hunting ban were all rather polite. I don't feel polite…. Having witnessed on TV the scenes of disturbance in the Commons by pro-hunting protesters, it appeared to me that the House was almost empty, an apparent manifestation of political irresponsibility… MALCOLM KNIGHT, Tisbury
I AM fed up with the so-called Countryside Alliance claiming to represent the majority of people who live in the countryside… ROBERT RICHARDSON, Martin, Fordingbridge
I WAS in Parliament Square on September 16. Together with friends and thousands of other law-abiding hunt supporters from all social backgrounds, I joined in a peaceful demonstration which, for five hours, was determined but good natured…. Subsequent pictorial press coverage concentrated on violent images of the police hitting protesters over the head - choosing to reject the thousands of photographs that had been taken earlier of a cheerful, well-behaved crowd… ANNE MACKENZIE Salisbury Street, Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset
Copy of letter to prime minister Tony Blair - I HAVE never written a letter to a holder of your office before, but I feel I must regarding the issue of hunting…. I am angry and baffled that parliament should continue debating this issue, when 59 per cent of people say that they want hunting to continue, and even Tony Banks has admitted, in a letter to the Times, that the practical consequences are not the issue any more - it is "totemic"…. ALEX CONNELL Chitterne All Saints, Warminster (letters in archive)

Horncastle News 22.9.04 We’ll continue to hunt and accept the consequences - At last the Government has decided to make at least 40,000 of us criminals. Political prejudice will totally destroy animal welfare… HENRY H FOSTER, Woodhall Spa (letter)

Manchester Evening News 22.9.04 Pro-hunting - I AM pro-hunting for one reason only. I know where the anti-hunt leaders are coming from and it’s nothing to do with cruelty to animals… Levenshulme Reader (letter)

Western Morning News 22.9.04 HAS BRITAIN REACHED A FINAL CROSSROADS? It has been apparent for some time that Britain has reached a crossroads. The reasons are perhaps less obvious. Some think modern Britain is a wonderful advancing and progressive country… The recent decision on hunting is an example of a total failing to understand others' lives…. J W Hillson, Yelverton Devon
Don't interfere - I ADMIRE and agree with Major Montague (WMN, September 14), who at 78 intends to march in support of hunting. Why do people need to interfere with rural pursuits?... Diana Littlejohn, Mevagissey (letters)

Leicester Mercury 22.9.04 COUNTRY PEOPLE PUSHED TOO FAR - I was in Parliament Square on the day of the hunting debate. The violence reported by the press occurred in a small area, with only a few of the thousands there being involved, but it was terrifying and made one wonder what the future holds… Country people are peaceful by nature, but they do know when they are being wronged. They are passionate about their way of life, of which hunting is a part. They will fight for it. Ann Bodycote, Broughton Astley. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.9.04 FREEDOM OF CHOICE LOST - As an 82-year-old, I do not propose to argue the pros and cons of fox-hunting, as I certainly shall not see the result of a ban, but I am sure that in a few years' time, foxes will be an endangered species… A ban on shooting will be next on the antis' agenda, followed by an outcry against fishing and horse racing, and any other sports involving animals that may be injured or killed… As for freedom of choice - that has long gone out of the window. R K Capriles, Melton Mowbray. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.9.04 PRIORITIES ARE WRONG - Simon Green (Postbag, September 17) can quote polls to his heart's content. For instance, two per cent of Labour voters think that hunting should be a Government priority…. Ask any working person in the street what they think the most important issues are that should be dealt with by our elected house and I hardly think hunting would be top of the list. Kay Chapman, East Midlands regional director, Countryside Alliance…. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.9.04 POLICING CONCERNS - With regard to the hunting ban voted for in Parliament the other day, my question is: How can the police enforce the ban when they cannot enforce the law on the use of mobile phones?... Keith Wallace, Sileby. (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 22.9.04 'Protesters have lost my sympathy' - The pro-hunt protesters who picketed outside Nassington Primary School during the formal opening of its Information Technology Suite last Friday scored a spectacular own goal… Now I for one have lost my respect for these misguided people and their cause. Fiona Cumberpatch, Parkway Close, Nassington, Peterborough (letter)

Shropshire Star 22.9.04 Tantrums forced my negative opinions - I have never been particularly pro nor passionately anti-hunting - until now. The antics outside and within parliament of the pampered few; born into wealth, land and privilege was, quite frankly, despicable…. Name and address supplied (letter) p>Shropshire Star 22.9.04 Angel of mischief dreams on - I wish I could be a mischievous angel for a while. First, I would rudely awaken the dozy twits at Westminster who thought that a hunting ban was worthy of debate, and transform them all into temporary pensioners, homeless folk and hospital patients or staff - the better that they might recover their priorities. The hunting fraternity would find themselves swimming in piranha infested waters - the better to understand animal fear…. Robert Jenkins, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 22.9.04 Abide by hunt law - All these letters about how a ban on fox hunting, will cause massive job cuts and devastate the countryside are very wearying. No one made this much fuss when they closed the mines, shipbuilding and manufacturing industries…. R P Williams, Powys (letter)

Shropshire Star 22.9.04 Legal bans don't solve problems - Several centuries of experience has demonstrated that by far the most effective way of resolving a problem is to pass a law against it. As a result of legislation establishing a legal age of consent during Queen Victoria's reign, sexual activity among those under 16 is now, as we are all aware, completely unknown…. So any foxes who read the papers or listen to the news will certainly be sleeping more soundly in their lairs, knowing that as the law has now banned hunting they can now live long, happy lives unmolested by dogs, horses or humans in pink. David Burton, Telford (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 LABOUR WILL LOSE ELECTION OVER COUNTRYSIDE UNREST - Leaving aside all the arguments about hunting, if Labour pushes the hunt ban through, they will commit collective suicide and probably lose the next General Election. Perhaps, therefore, they should do us all a favour and use the Parliament Act. The justifiable backlash from the countryside will be entirely of Labour's own making…. David Challice, UK Independence Party Exeter branch chairman, Holland Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 LAW FORCED THROUGH TO APPEASE BACKBENCHERS - I cannot believe what I saw happening outside the House of Parliament during the debate on the Hunting Bill. To me, I was watching the death of democracy in this country. A law has been forced through the House of Commons at great speed to appease unruly backbench Labour MPs and because the Prime Minister is afraid he might not win the next election. As for the behaviour of the police, they looked like a gang of thugs, baton-happy and very aggressive…. Sheila Derbyshire, Broadfields, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 WILL TORIES REALLY PUSH TO BRING BACK FOX HUNTING? - Hugo Swire is fortunate in holding what I call a rotten borough, a seat which nothing short of a political earthquake would cause him to lose… Hunting is going for good. To borrow a quote from Margaret Thatcher: "Rejoice!" G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 DON'T COMPLAIN WHEN YOUR OWN BLOOD IS SPILT Just like the school bully who has for the first time met his match, these ardent supporters of blood sports run to matron complaining of brutality as soon as their own blood is spilt. What a hoot! David Fanson, Beacon Lane, Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 HUNTING FRATERNITY HAVE WASTED PARLIAMENT'S TIME - It is absurd for Clare Ratcliffe, Points of view, September 18, to complain about Parliament devoting too much time and money to enact a ban on hunting with dogs for sport. Members of the Countryside Alliance incurred very substantial expenditure on Wednesday last week when 10,000 of them went to London to demonstrate against democracy outside the House of Commons… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 NOW THAT HUNT BAN HAS BEEN WON, LET'S MOVE ON - I wonder if the more fervent of the letter writers that deplore cruelty to foxes could devote their time and energy to something rather more important, perhaps by joining the NSPCC and help to prevent cruelty to children? I will not be holding my breath! P F North, Moon Ridge, Newport Park, Exeter (letter)

Worcester Evening News 22.9.04 Blair destroying our traditions, heritage - I PERSONALLY don't like foxhunting but, after seven years, Tony Blair has finally come home like the old crusader he is and moved forward to ban it…. Today it is foxhunting, tomorrow it will be fishing and shooting. What of the future - maybe it will be football? JOHN CALLOW, Hillside, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 22.9.04 Police action unacceptable - I HAVE no sympathy or support for the hunting lobby - indeed the opposite. However, the scenes outside the House of Commons where police were seen to be beating, with batons, people who were registering a protest was unacceptable. (letter in archive)

The Sentinel 22.9.04 COUNTRY WILL LOSE SOVEREIGNTY - The Blair government intends to steamroller the anti-fox hunting bill through Parliament… I have no particular views on the fox hunting issue either way. However, this poses a stark warning that an unscrupulous government, with a large House of Commons majority, could implement the European Union's Constitution, on which we the people will have no say, thereby losing our sovereignty…. PAUL GREGORY Newcastle (letter)

The Sentinel 22.9.04 OUR PRIORITIES ARE ALL WRONG - While watching the pro-hunt demonstration unfold on TV, and the subsequent invasion of Parliament, you have to ask, has this Government got its priorities right?... GJ KELLY Smallthorne (letter)

The Sentinel 22.9.04 CANCEL YOUR COUNCIL TAX DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENTS … It showed how hard the MPs work when the hunting lobby broke into the Houses of Parliament - did you see how few members were present? Where were the majority?... R BOOTH Address Supplied (letter)

The Sentinel 22.9.04 THE FOX HUNTING ROW - In reply to James Eyre-Walker's comments on hunting. The two year waiting period would enable the hunting fraternity to send some of their older dogs to the retirement home they usually go to, wherever that may be. I have yet to find it… t's here we get to the crux of the matter. It does not matter if it is five or 5000 foxes killed by your hunting methods - it is cruel and barbaric and should be banned… MR S GIBSON Burslem (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.9.04 ARE THE FOXES COMING FIRST? - There are people getting mugged, murdered and molested and the Government's main agenda is to ban fox hunting. This Government is a joke. J Kelly, Merlin Road, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 22.9.04 COUNTRY FOLK HAVE THEIR OWN TRADITIONS - In reply to the letter 'TV awakened our love of wildlife' (September 16), I fully empathise with these feelings on cruelty, as I felt exactly the same until I went to live in the country. My whole life changed to adapt to the ways of the country folk and so did my views. The hounds and the dogs enjoy the hunt - I have never seen them suffer… GILL RIVERS, Helens Mead Close, Watcombe, Torquay (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 22.9.04 WE ARE AT RISK OF LOSING OUR FREEDOM - Never mind the Hunting Bill - that was a smoke screen to draw attention away from the fact that the Civil Contingencies Bill 2004 is going through the House of Lords. Tony Blair, John Prescott and the Home Office are responsible for tabling this Bill for discussion… Mrs Jane Birkby, Jubilee Road, North Somercotes (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 22.9.04 More at stake - I read with interest your report on the reactions of local MPs to the proposed ban on hunting… As a member of the League Against Cruel Sports, which stands foursquare for the rule of law, I have no objection to that. And what is the best way to curb lawless elements along the animal rights movement? To prove to them that legal, peaceful campaigning has a chance of achieving results… DAVID PRESTON Henry Road West Bridgford (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Press 22.9.04 Shoot first - THERE is much apparent concern at the lack of security at Royal palaces, the Houses of Parliament and similar likely terrorist targets. There is only one way security can be improved and stunts prevented, and that is to adopt a new policy of "shoot first, ask questions afterwards"…. David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Acomb, York. (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 22.9.04 OUR TRADITIONS ARE WORTH UPHOLDING - Might I suggest a link between the demise of the corner shop and the ban on fox-hunting? This can be graphically illustrated by the small independent butcher's shop whose wares, together with the ancillary blood and guts of producing the family joint, etc, were often visible. We were left in no doubt that the meat had come from a living animal. Now, in today's sanitised supermarkets, our meat bas been shrink-wrapped, with not so much as a butcher's block, cleaver or drop of blood in sight. Thus I would claim we have become desensitised to the origins of our meat… R L Smith, Knowle (letter)


Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 21.9.04 EDEN LINK WITH HUNT PROTEST - The son of Eden couple John and Cath Holliday, of Great Strickland, was one of five protesters who burst into the House of Commons to express their anger over the Bill to ban hunting with dogs. John Holliday, aged 37, is huntsman of the Ledbury pack, Herefordshire… (story may be in archive)

Mid Devon Gazette 21.9.04 WE WILL FIGHT ON ... Hunt supporters in Devon and Somerset have vowed to carry on fighting against a ban on the sport despite the Hunting Bill being passed by the House of Commons last week…. Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, one of just three packs of staghounds in the country, said she was disgusted by the whole affair. "The situation was no surprise, we all knew what the result was going to be…." (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 21.9.04 INJURED PROTESTOR RAPS 'OVER-REACTION' - A Devon man who was injured in clashes between police and pro-hunting demonstrators in Parliament Square has spoken of the police over-reaction to the situation. Geoffrey Brown, from West Anstey, hunts with Dulverton-based Devon and Somerset Staghounds, claimed the police lashed out indiscriminately at people attending the rally outside the Houses of Parliament…. (story)

Argus 21.9.04 Conference protesters urged to stay away by Phil Mills - Sussex Police chief Ken Jones today made a personal plea to protesters to stay away from next week's Labour Party conference. He said he has enough on his hands protecting the Government from terrorists. The Chief Constable aimed his plea at the pro-hunt lobby which clashed with police outside the House of Commons last week and is allegedly planning to disrupt Labour's conference which runs from Sunday until Thursday…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.9.04 PROTESTING HUNT SUPPORTERS AVOIDED - Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael yesterday again scampered away from Britain's increasingly vociferous hunt supporters…. But the Minister's coy behaviour - he claimed he did not want to overstretch police - only further excited the 200 hunt supporters awaiting his arrival at Weymouth…. (story)
Times 21.9.04 Hunting lobby runs minister to ground BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - ALUN MICHAEL, the Rural Affairs Minister, has run for cover as hunts nationwide chase his scent. For the second time since MPs voted to force through a ban on hunting with dogs, the beleaguered Minister cancelled an arrangement on police advice. Yesterday Mr Michael even scrapped a boat trip after pro-hunting protesters arrived in a small flotilla off the Dorset coast and threatened to pursue him…. He is billed to speak at the annual conference of the Association of National Parks Authorities in the West Country tomorrow, but a spokeswoman at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs could not confirm that he would appear…. He admitted he had been warned by senior hunt figures that they were concerned what some extremists may do, but said he was more worried about some of “the violence of the rhetoric” he had heard during the Parliament Square protest. The minister raised these concerns with John Jackson, alliance chairman, in a letter last week. Mr Jackson, in a stinging rebuke to the minister, blamed Mr Michael for the current situation. He said: “I have lost count of the times that I have told you that, if you did not keep your promise to address the question of hunting on principle and evidence, the countryside would erupt in fury. That is now happening.”… (story)
Telegraph 21.9.04 Hunting minister forced to cancel new appearance - Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, has had to pull out of an official engagement for the second time to avoid pro-hunt protesters. On the advice of the police, he cancelled an appearance in Weymouth, Dorset, where he was due to attend the Friends of The Jurassic Coast launch event on a paddle steamer…. (story)
Scotsman 21.9.04 Pro-hunt protesters force minister to switch second visit - JOHN INNES - ALUN Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister for England, was forced to rearrange a second official visit in two days yesterday to avoid confrontation with 200 pro-hunt protesters…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.9.04 Hunt minister cancels second trip - A fresh protest by pro-hunting campaigners has led rural affairs minister Alun Michael to cancel his second official visit in just two days. Police advised him not to attend the launch of the Friends of The Jurassic Coast organisation in Weymouth, Dorset, on Monday when 200 protesters gathered…. (story)
Weymouth Echo 20.9.04 Police set for big hunt demo by Matt Dickinson - DOZENS of extra police officers were drafted in to Weymouth today to combat a planned hunt protest. Hundreds of protesters were expected on the quayside to confront Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, who was due to join a coastal cruise from the town. And they said they had lined up a flotilla of boats to follow Mr Michael along the coast…. (story in archive)

Western Mail 21.9.04 Michael bottled out, says protester - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael has been accused of bottling out in the face of hunt supporters' peaceful demonstrations. Within the past four days he has avoided demonstrators in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Dorset and Cardiff…. Mair Hughes, whose husband Brian is a blacksmith at Gilfach Goch, waited outside the ITV studios at Culverhouse Cross on Sunday with a small crowd. The Cardiff South MP was expected there for an interview but he phoned the studio to cancel…. (story)
Western Mail 21.9.04 Hunt minister outfoxes protestors - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - RURAL AFFAIRS Minister Alun Michael denied bottling out of peaceful demonstrations by hunt supporters and insisted it was business as usual. But in the past four days he has rearranged his plans to avoid demonstrators in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Dorset and Cardiff - although he claimed yesterday he had no idea they were waiting for him to arrive for a live interview at ITV studios in Culverhouse Cross… One of the demonstrators, Mair Hughes, who was there with several other women and children including a babe in arms, said, "Mr Michael is not in any danger physically, but he bottled out rather than meet us face to face."… Another demonstrator was John Thomas, who farms just outside St Athan and rides with the Glamorgan Hunt…. (story)

Times 21.9.04 Welcome to the new age of rudeness - LIBBY PURVES - Snob! Leftie! Tree-hugger! Frump! Slapper! Is this really the best that we can do? BARRY SHEERMAN is a brave man. At the weekend the hitherto impeccable Blairite MP said that the hunting ban is being used by some colleagues as revenge for Margaret Thatcher’s pit war…. . A recurring cry of those who favour a hunting ban has been that the countryside marchers are hypocritical to cite loss of livelihood because they “never raised a squeak of protest over apartheid, or when miners and steelworkers were suffering”. Yet, like most of the insults traded over hunting , this is a crass generalisation…. But precisely because of those overlaps, the problem is wider than “class war”. There is a cancer of oversimplification, generalised insult, demonising and polarising. It afflicts every dispute from Iraq to education. It uses a sour, shorthand stereotyping that is fun in comedy acts but death to serious debate…. (story)

Telegraph 21.9.04 Peaceful start for right to roam - The first exercise of the new right to roam over open country took place amicably in the Forest of Bowland early yesterday in the absence of a single MP who voted for it and without expected disruption by pro-hunting demonstrators…. (story)

Telegraph 21.9.04 Heroic acts to brighten a Monday morning By Richard Evans … Unlike the Famous Five, who made their presence felt on the floor of the House of Commons last week and, in so doing, instantly raised the spirits of millions of people. I have never hunted and harbour no wish to do so. For me, the hunting debate has always centred on liberty and freedom: the right of a minority - rather like gays - to pursue a way of life, which is not everybody's cup of tea…. (story)

Telegraph 21.9.04 It's dangerous to get rid of men in tights By Mark Steyn - On the matter of whether the House of Commons should be protected by "men in tights", I say stick with tradition and a well-sheathed leg…. Given demographic trends and development pressures, I doubt if hunting would have been much of an issue in another 50 years. But its abolition by national fiat is a repudiation of the past, a partial tear in the golden thread of history. A healthy society is like an iceberg: seven-eighths of it is below the surface, the accumulations of a shared history. When you hack away at that seven-eighths as obsessively as New Labour to leave only the here-and-now floating on the surface, it's easy to cut a country adrift…. (story)

Guardian 21.9.04 Hope of deal on hunting ban - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - The pro-hunt lobby yesterday responded to signals from the prime minister that an 11th-hour compromise could be found, allowing licensed hunts if there is an environmental case for them going ahead. The latest conciliatory signals from the Countryside Alliance follow further indications that the countryside minister, Alun Michael, wants to avoid violent confrontation with the pro-hunt lobby in the light of the invasion of parliament last week…. (story)

Guardian 21.9.04 No pick and mix option for Liberals - Sarah Hall, political correspondent - Liberal Democrats were urged not to "pick and mix their liberalism" yesterday as two of the party's senior MPs defended their support for foxhunting and said civil servants should not be barred from joining the BNP…. (story)

Independent 21.9.04 The Media Column: So who won on fox freedom day? Apart from the foxes, of course By Bill Hagerty - A pack of howling dumb animals is not a pretty sight, whether in pursuit of a fox or stampeding into the House of Commons to create mayhem. But hounds elicit sympathy because they know no better. The eight pro-hunting demonstrators who infiltrated the Palace of Westminster to protest about the Government's "contempt for democracy" had no such excuse and won only the contempt of a public that, on the whole, prefers foxes to hooligans…. Dumb? The protesters were, but so were those papers that allowed a loathing of the Blair administration to colour their news judgement…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 HUNTING - Britain's leading politicians gave a divided, and often baffling, response to the vexed issue of fox hunting yesterday, as the Parliamentary process to seek a ban was plunged into confusion…. (story)
Western Daily Press 21.9.04 TALLY-HO! HUNTING THE RURAL MINISTER - Farce turned into fiasco yesterday when politicians of both the Left and Right avoided serious questions over the Government's fox hunting Bill. And with the country split over what is the most contentious and divisive political issue in a generation, there were reports that Tony Blair may now be considering a last-minute compromise…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE THE HUNTED - The farmer in his 4x4 was so angry... He'd confronted a group of half-a-dozen hunt saboteurs, along with Western Daily Press photographer Jon Mills and I, walking away from his farm… what followed were some of the most frightening and sickening scenes I've ever witnessed in the countryside. He drove alongside us, forcing us into a jog, nudging our legs with his vehicle. Then, he shot forward and pinned the lead saboteur Tina - a mum armed with only a bottle of lemon-scented spray - up against the verge. His hand shot out of the window and at first punched, and then grabbed her hair. The vehicle continued to move - Tina was dragged along, screaming, for a few seconds that seemed like an hour…. The hunt was miles away at the time. It started early. Inside a battered Land Rover, we'd been picked up at 5am from a Wiltshire market town and headed off to the kennels of the Avonvale Hunt… One saboteur sprayed a hound and was admonished by the rest for "going too far". I wondered how far they normally go with no journalists around… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.9.04 POLICE'S VIEW...AND THE OPINION OF AVONDALE'S HUNT MASTER - A Spokesman for Wiltshire Police said policing a hunt with saboteurs present was "tricky" and officers sometimes had difficulty maintaining the balance between allowing lawful hunting and allowing lawful protest. "The prime reason for a police presence at a hunt meeting is to maintain the peace and enable the lawful activities of the hunt to take place and to enable the lawful, peaceful protests against the hunt to take place…." JOHN Seed, hunt master of the Avonvale, leads his hounds out three or four times a week, and comes up against saboteurs nearly every Saturday. "I have no problem with saboteurs doing what they do if they stick to the footpaths and the rights of way," he said… "I don't believe your reporter saw a true picture of the saboteurs. Normally, they will be spraying dogs, giving out abuse and running amok on private land…." (story)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 WE'LL ALL BE LOSERS IN LABOUR WAR - Not satisfied, it seems, with fighting other people's battles around the world, New Labour has now started a civil war right here in merry England. And like every other dispute it is a war where there can only be losers. I don't hunt, fish or shoot - but I would move heaven and Earth to defend the rights of those who do. The five people who "invaded" the House of Commons were far more respectable, in my book, than the huge numbers of MPs who didn't bother to take part in the hunting debate and then herded into the Commons like sheep to cast their votes… David "Baldrick" Blunkett came up with a cunning plan to enforce the new anti-hunting laws - hide cameras in trees and bushes! What a farce!... (story)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 WALKING INTO A WORLD OF TROUBLE - The first parts of Britain affected by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act were declared open on Sunday - the start of National Walking Week. Farmers and landowners in the South West are waiting anxiously to see if scores of new visitors invade their land and what other problems are likely to emerge, Giselle Jones reports THEY are already angry. West Country farmers have been told they cannot go hunting any more. Now they are even more indignant at being obliged to allow any member of the public and their dogs the right to roam in areas where livestock can be upset…. (story)

Northern Echo 21.9.04 Landowners in hunting pledge - LANDOWNERS have pledged to make their fields no-go areas for ramblers, the military and utilities companies, if fox hunting is banned. The Countryside Alliance said last night that access permission for Government or other activities - laying or maintaining pipelines and cables, road improvements or setting telecom masts - could become a political weapon if the controversial legislation gets on to the statute books… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 21.9.04 DOUBTS OVER BLAIR'S HUNT COMPROMISE - Hunt supporters in the Westcountry were yesterday sceptical about reports that Tony Blair had suggested a compromise could still be found on the future of hunting…. Alison Hawes, the South West regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "I would be very surprised if having gone this far towards a ban he would turn round to his backbenchers and say he did not want to go ahead with it. They would hang, draw and quarter him…" (story)

Bucks Free Press 21.9.04 A hunting - it will go? By Rachel Sixsmith - HUNTING was the hot-to-trot topic on everyone's lips at the Thame and Oxfordshire County Show last Thursday. Members of the Countryside Alliance set up a stand at the show in Kingsey Road, Thame, and rallied the show's thousands of visitors to support their pro-bloodsports cause… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 21.9.04 THE OLD CURMUDGEON - Batman on a ledge at Buckingham Palace. Protesters striding across the floor of the House of Commons. A Government minister afraid to go into the countryside for fear of trouble breaking out at his presence…. perhaps I shouldn't, but something inside me feels quietly pleased that those protesters got into the House of Commons. It's not that I hunt or am particularly in favour of hunting, because I don't and I'm not. But I can't help feeling it was about time that our MPs were brought down a peg or two… And by the way, talking about television, did you notice just how few of these jumped-up, underperforming blights-on-humanity masquerading-as-the-voice -of-the-people were actually sitting in the chamber when the protesters attacked?... (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 21.9.04 ANGER AT PROPOSAL TO SITE CCTV IN HEDGEROWS - Plans to spend £30 million on putting CCTV cameras in hedgerows to catch people defying a hunting ban have met with outrage in the countryside. Members of the Country Land and Business Association have written to home secretary David Blunkett attacking the proposal…. (story)

Western Mail 21.9.04 October start for fallen stock - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - THE long-awaited fallen stock scheme is expected to start next month, 18 months after it became illegal to bury dead livestock on farmland. National Fallen Stock Company chairman Michael Seals said yesterday that months of hard work by the company, working in partnership with Government and the livestock industry, should be finalised next month, although he was still unable to say exactly when…. Farmers have been prevented on public health grounds from burying any dead livestock on their land. Instead carcasses have been collected or received by hunt kennels, or farmers have faced varying costs from knackers yards for disposal (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 21.9.04 Time to restock the prisons with toffs - Peter Rhodes - Two days after the anti-hunting Bill is passed in the Commons, the judiciary leaks plans for murderers to be released from prison after as little as seven years. What's going on? Simple. They are clearing the cells for the toffs…. (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 21.9.04 Why I back hunting - MP Barry speaks out By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner - HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman has defended his outspoken "no" vote to a ban on hunting. Taking a stand against the vast majority of his Labour colleagues, he was one of only three Government members who voted against the ban last week, amid turbulent scenes inside and outside the House of Commons…. Mr Sheerman said: "Although I don't hunt, or have much knowledge of hunting, I know I never wanted to see our present government acting like the previous administration."… (story)

BBC News Online 21.9.04 A nation obsessed? By Denise Winterman - Violent clashes with police and an invasion of the House of Commons' debating chamber marked the recent vote to ban fox hunting. Why does such a long-standing tradition remain such an emotive issue in the UK?... (story)

Bournemouth Daily Press 21.9.04 Rebellion ahead? I must protest... by Kevin Nash - AS Marie Antoinette might have said, the English are revolting. You name it, we'll rebel against it - but just lately it seems to be fathers' rights and fox-hunting that get our goat and raise our dander…. As for hunting, maybe there's a case to be made for it, although I haven't heard it yet - and personally I can't summon much sympathy for the spoiled rich kids who stormed the Commons last week… (story in archive)

Argus 21.9.04 Letter: It is not a human right to slaughter wildlife - Was it lack of space or poor spelling that led the Countryside Alliance to burn the slogan "No Ban" into grass by the Long Man of Wilmington and at 13 other locatiions? The hunting fraternity use some ludicrous arguments in defence of their barbaric pastime… Dennis B Stuart -Marine Parade, Brighton (letter)

Argus 21.9.04 Letter: Ordinary people demonstrating to survive - Whatever you think of the debacle of the security breach in the House of Commons, it is time to get realistic… Politicians, take note. You are attacking middle England and the establishment. It will not be allowed to happen. J Evans -Montague Place, Brighton (letter)

Argus 21.9.04 Letter: Think about it - When you think about it, the vast gathering in Parliament Square, the violence and the unlawful entry into the Commons was to defend the right to tear the living guts out of a fox. Maurice Packham, -Staiton Road, Horsham (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 20.9.04 'Where were all the MPs?' The most shocking thing to me in the pictures of the Hunting Bill protesters invading Parliament was how few MPs were present at the debate…. SHIRLEY HALLAM, Wycliffe Grove, Werrington, Peterborough
Let's have honesty in the hunting world - WHETHER you are for or against hunting with dogs, please spare a thought for the fox cubs bred to train hounds to kill… JOSEPHINE BROWN, Maxey Road, Deeping Gate, near Peterborough
How do they sleep at night? ABOUT 330, mainly children, lie dead in Russian mortuaries, thousands more die in Iraq, tens of thousands die in Sudan, and what is our government doing? Bringing in a hunting ban. I just hope they can sleep at night. JUNE WILKINSON Warmington, near Peterborough (letters)

Bath Chronicle 21.9.04 THE KILLING FIELDS - In Scotland, where hunting is banned, 350 healthy hounds were put down to save the lives of a few mangy foxes which, as often as not escape, judging by their numbers. They will meet even crueller and more lingering deaths at the hands of poultry farmers and shepherds who will put down poison or traps to save their livestock from marauding foxes…. MJ BAILEY, Elm Grove, Lower Swainswick, Bath
IT greatly concerns me that this Government, with so many pressing problems to solve, pressed ahead with its Hunting Bill. It seems to me that Mr Blair's first priority is his political career rather than improving the lives of the British people… MRS J BUSH, Hillside, West Kington, Chippenham
IF the League Against Cruel Sports is clocking up the vote to ban fox hunting with dogs as a victory, it can't be long before its members will be campaigning to ban fresh water fishing…. BERNARD J SEWARD, Wellington Hill West, Bristol (letters)

Telegraph 21.9.04 A modern tradition - What has really prompted this Government to attack hunting so publicly? Political cynicism certainly, but why? Hunting in its present form is not a medieval relic but a product of the modern age; it evolved not in spite of, but because of, the agricultural, industrial and transport revolutions that shaped the way we live today… Mark Lutyens, Landscape Architect, London W9 (letter)

Telegraph 21.9.04 Not enough walkers - Members of the hunting fraternity have every right to feel affronted that they will no longer be able to hunt on their own land while the public have the right to walk on their land. As an occasional stroller in the countryside around Manchester, I would point out that there is no shortage of paths, some newly built by local authorities as an amenity for the local population. What there is a shortage of is walkers who take advantage of the facilities…. Derek Horner Manchester (letter)

Independent 21.9.04 Hunting thrill - Does Aidan Harrison (Letters, 18 September) really believe that those of us who are opposed to fox hunting feel that way purely because of the death of the "foxy woxy"? I am intelligent enough to understand that foxes sometimes need to be killed, and have no objection to this as long as it is done as humanely as possible…. SARAH MARIC, Broadstone, Dorset
I am going to break the law in 2006. I will put on my red skiing jacket, get on my horse and go out with my three pet dogs afoot. We will see a rabbit or two and my dogs will naturally give chase and almost certainly kill… LOWRI COULTEN, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
I support hunting with dogs and indeed hunt with my Jack Russell terriers. I was also part of the "howling mob" in Parliament Square on Wednesday… At the last two general elections I voted Labour and I fully support Britain having closer links with Europe. Î get confused when I read that those who support hunting are all from the social elite and political right? MICHAEL W COOK National Committee Member of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of GB London W14
In all the words written about the hunting ban demonstration in Parliament Square there has been little mention of the behaviour of the police. The scenes of baton-wielding policemen to which we were treated on television were truly appalling. The ferocity and enthusiasm displayed and the matching expressions on the faces of the officers were such as I had never thought to see in this country…. ESTHER BARTON, Ludlow, Shropshire (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 PROTEST IS A WAKE-UP CALL - Hunting Ban/Civil War? This is not a civil war, more a civil "scuffle". It should, however, serve as a wake-up call to all. This is decent people's reaction to the Government's dictatorial attitude and manipulation of them;… It's time to wake up before we really do find out what civil war is all about. WENDY ELLIS, Gloucester (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 DIRECT ACTION WAS INEVITABLE - The events of the last few days have borne out the warning made by many political observers - that with a loss of confidence in the effectiveness and fairness of elections, the electorate would feel forced to turn to direct action… JOAN DAVIES, Parkend, Lydney (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 IS THIS MEANT TO BE DEMOCRACY? Am I reading this correctly? 70% of respondents to your website poll voted against a ban on hunting, whilst out of three local MPs, one voted against and two could not even be bothered to attend the vote?... Before Blair continues preaching democracy to Middle East countries, he should be ensuring it works in this country. ELAINE EMERTON, Quedgeley (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 COMMONS DEMO REAL FREE SPEECH - While, ultimately, there can be no defence for the sickening anachronistic cruelty that foxhunting represents, it could be argued that for a few brief widely publicised moments recently when protestors gained access to House of Commons there was more passion, free-speech and representation of public views in the chamber than for the whole of the previous 25 years. KIM HARRISON, Woodend Close, Barnwood (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 TRUE COLOURS - The hunt supporters showed their true colours during the violent demonstrations in London…. ANTHONY BEE, Gloucester (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 CITY DWELLERS SET RURAL CODE - I have hunted for some 65 years, so am near the end of my hunting career, but it makes me both sad and cross that we are represented in Parliament by so many who seem to know little or nothing about hunting or the countryside, yet who can force through a measure that affects country life enormously, and town and city dwellers not at all… Roger Stratton Keynsham Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.9.04 I WITNESSED A REVOLTING KILL - It matters to me very much (mostly because I was unhappily married to a fox hunting man for some years) that this Hunting Bill goes through as soon as possible. I have witnessed a kill. It was not a pretty sight, I might add, and I think hunters are a lot who just like or need the adrenalin of this awful sport…. Jennifer Lord Dursley Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 21.9.04 THIS IS A GOVERNMENT THAT CLEARLY DOESN'T CARE - I don't think I have been so scared by anything I have ever seen before: a display of ruthless, and to a very large extent unprovoked, violence perpetrated against many innocent and peaceful protesters… I had no idea what was going on, as I was standing near the back, until I saw a man in his 70s with his head streaked with blood, staggering through the crowds, followed at intervals by many other casualties, several of whom were clearly in their 60s…. It is a Government that will live to regret the events of Wednesday - and the possible other Wednesdays to come. William Hall, Topsham
Why confrontation? LAST week up to 20,0000 people from beleaguered rural Britain came to town…. The Metropolitan Police should know better. They learnt better at the Notting Hill Carnival and the Brixton Riots and the Poll Tax riots, many years ago, when it became apparent that to park their van-loads of officers out of sight was less provocative and confrontational and actually prevented violence. But no, instead they chose to confront protesters. I am disgusted. Tess Nash, Helston (letters)

Western Morning News 21.9.04 What now for unfit foxes? THOSE who understand biology know that ecosystems are fluent in the language of maths. The 20,000 foxes formerly unfit enough to escape the jaws of death each year will now add to the numbers that fail to find food and a habitat, increasing the amount killed on our roads, scavenging in our towns, starving in our fields or needing to be shot…. Robert Portus, Ilsington, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 21.9.04 WE MUST END THIS SLAUGHTER - It is reassuring to observe both the Lib-Dems and Tories being so concerned about the terrible toll of dolphin deaths off the South Devon coast…. Another important reminder for people who are opposed to hunting with dogs is that only a Labour government has actually given MPs the chance to vote on this issue…. Dr David Friend, Prospective Labour Candidate Torbay (letter)

Northern Echo 21.9.04 HUNTING - I WAS reading the letters under the topic of hunting (HAS, Sept 20) and all I could do was shake my head at the ill-informed comments by your two readers…. There are a lot of working class people who go hunting. The Burns Report, after an in depth investigation including post-mortems on foxes, came to the conclusion that there was no scientific evidence that foxhunting was cruel…. Jim Hamer, Darlington. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 20.9.04 HUNTING: SURELY any doubts people had regarding those who protest against the proposed ban on foxhunting have now disappeared after their criminal behaviour on Wednesday when they burst into the Houses of Parliament. These people, who are mainly upper class, have shown their total disregard for democracy… CT Riley, Spennymoor (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 21.9.04 A NO-GO AREA FOR MINISTERS - So, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael decided against coming to the Peak District on Sunday to celebrate the freedom of the ramblers to walk anywhere they wish, now that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act is in operation, he said, in the interests of public safety. He was very wise, although his reasons are full of Labour spin. The public are in no danger at all from the country folk; it is only for the Government ministers that we are operating a no-go area as they are all unwelcome…. Philip Mizon, Burton Close Drive, Bakewell (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 21.9.04 NOBODY IN - After the break-in at the House of Commons I saw how few MPs were working and being there to vote. It seems that those interested in "traditional" ways of life (eg fox hunting, fathers wanting to see more of their children etc) would be better served working to reinstate the House of Lords. Julia Bachmann, Ivy Court, Willington. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 DON'T PRETEND HUNTING WITH DOGS IS HUMANE - Hunting with dogs is a sport. It is not a proper, or humane method, of controlling foxes or deer and it is time that the Countryside Alliance stopped claiming otherwise…. Miners went hungry and fought a lonely battle against enormous odds, unlike this mob who seem to be backed with plenty of financial support. D P Gay, Buckerell, Honiton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 HORSES WON'T HAVE TO BE SLAUGHTERED IN BRISTOL - I must respond to the patronising letter A hunt ban means more suffering for horses, Points of view, September 16. The writer leads the reader to believe that if the hunt does not step in and destroy a horse, then the only alternative is to take the unfortunate animal to Bristol to be slaughtered…. It is true that unfortunately it is no longer legal to bury horses on private land but there are some licensed horse cemeteries where burial can take place. The other option is cremation. I have a dear old horse that I rescued nine years ago from neglect and overwork by a hunt-going owner…. E Smith, Church Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 SECURITY BREACHES MAY END OUR OLYMPIC HOPES - I expect the International Olympic Committee will have taken serious note of the two recent outrageous breaches of security, one at Buckingham Palace and the other at the House of Commons. Athens, which was heavily criticised by some sections of our media concerned with security lapses, went very smoothly indeed… Richard M Holloway, Mount Dinham, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 TORIES WERE HYPOCRITICAL OVER POLICE USE OF FORCE - What staggering hypocrisy from those Tory MPs who complained that the police had over-reacted to the violence of the pro-hunting thugs in Parliament Square. No doubt they are the same Tory MPs who applauded stern police action against striking miners and poll tax protesters…. L M Park, Topsham Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 BATON CHARGES BEST WAY TO CONTROL PROTESTERS - Extensive coverage has been given, Echo, September 16 and 17, to the demonstrations outside Parliament against enactment of the Hunting Bill. There was some violence, but police baton charges were probably the most humane method of control…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 21.9.04 RIDING NOT AT RISK IN HUNT BAN - In the furore over the ban of hunting with dogs the point seems to have been missed that it is not a Bill to ban horse riding. Many thousands of people ride horses with never a thought of chasing another animal until it dies of exhaustion or is ripped to pieces by dogs… MARY ROYLE, Preston, Torquay (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 21.9.04 RITUAL ANIMAL SLAUGHTER - If the welfare of animals causes this Government so much concern (ie the banning of fox hunting) why don't they introduce a Bill to cancel the method of killing animals for the consumption of food?... J F SAUNDERS, Western Road, Torquay (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 21.9.04 POLITICALLY CORRECT POLICING - Now the wider picture is out for all to see in Blair's Cool Britannia and pro-hunt lobbyists from rural shires have come face to face with the reality of politically correct policing. With the unknowing help of the pro-hunt protesters, September 15 was the perfect day for New Labour to bury some bad news. Under cover of this distraction, the House of Lords was debating the Civil Contingencies Bill, Blair and Blunkett's own version of the Nazis' 1933 Enabling Act…. PETER C LUCAS, Velland Avenue Torquay (letter)

York Evening Press 21.9.04 Hunt ban cannot come in quickly enough for me - I FIND the dreadful scenes created by the violent reactions of pro-hunters quite unacceptable. It has been long coming, and is even now not home and dry, but the ban on fox hunting is necessary to put an end to animal suffering…. Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York.

York Evening Press 21.9.04 Other animals - AS the Government is leading us to believe that they are "animal friendly" by banning fox hunting, how about they now take a look at the animals that are experimented on in laboratories up and down the country?... PR Willey, Burnholme Drive, Heworth, York. (letter in archive)

Daily Record 21.9.04 HUNT FOR ANSWER - I RECENTLY read in the paper about foxes attacking humans. I'm sure getting them scattered with the hunt throughout the countryside would be the answer. Once chased by the hunt, they never return to that area… George Kerr, Earlston (letter)

Bath Chronicle 21.9.04 VOTE FOR US BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE - Armed police will now guard the Palace of Westminster to protect democracy. Which way will they face?... The real danger to our democracy comes, not from demonstrators, but from the MPs themselves…. JOHN HALLETT, Chairman, Wansdyke and Bath branch Association UK Independence Party, Wedmore Park, Southdown, Bath (letter)

Bath Chronicle 21.9.04 WHAT COMES NEXT AFTER HUNTING? - I Saw the electronic poll on the Chronicle's website. The question asked whether voters agreed with the Government's plans to ban fox hunting. As the Government's plans show determination to railroad this through using the Parliament Act, I can't see how any right-minded person can agree with their plans, irrespective of whether fox hunting is supported or not…. The Civil Contingencies Bill is also being debated in the House of Lords. Part two of this bill is loosely defined but a small group of Government ministers would be able to act exactly as it wished, without any other authority apart from itself.…. If the Government can use the Parliament Act to press any law through thereby bypassing democratic procedures for something that really is minor or non-existent in most people's lives, as it appears to be doing, then what hope is there for any of us? VERNON HERRIDGE, Baytree Road, Bath (letter)

Bath Chronicle 21.9.04 FOSTER AND NORRIS ACTING FOR POLITICAL ENDS - I Note with interest your article entitled 'Poll voters against fox hunting ban' showing that, locally, at least, people were generally in favour of fox hunting or, like me, against politically motivated attacks on the country way of life. Yet having checked the voting from Wednesday, I notice that both Dan Norris and Don Foster voted in favour of the ban…. They both must go at the next general election. There is no point in having a representative that doesn't represent you. CHRIS CLEMENCE, Bath Road, Hinton Charterhouse (letter)

Dundee Courier 21.9.04 A real freedom issue to demonstrate against - With reference to the recent pro-hunt demonstrations, let’s not lose sight of what they were belligerently demonstrating against. They were protesting against losing the sadistic pleasures of terrifying animals by chasing them with a pack of hounds… The pro-hunt lobby also protest at the job losses entailed if hunting is abolished. How many of them have protested about the massive job losses in our fishing, shipping and manufacturing industries, due to EU rules and controls since we joined the EEC in 1973, resulting in soaring trade deficits with the EEC/EU and the closure or foreign ownership of most of our major concerns?... John G. Greer-Spencer. 20 Touch Wards, Dunfermline. (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 21.9.04 KILLING TO EAT - As we watch our huntsmen's grubby rhetoric far exceed their intellect, all of educated Britain is rightly pleased that hunting is finished - for good… Eating meat involves countless more deaths and suffering than all the blood sports combined - millions an hour worldwide… PHINEAS DE THORNLEY HEAD, Plymouth (letter)

Worcester Evening News 21.9.04 It's about morality - THE pro-hunting lobby shot itself well and truly in the foot with its thuggery at Westminster…. TIMOTHY PALMER, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 21.9.04 The only minority that is fair game - SO it's over. Rural Middle England has finally been disabused of the quaint notion that policing in Britain is fair and impartial. Pro-hunt lobbyists from rural shires have come face to face with the reality of Politically Correct policing…. MARTIN ROBERTS, Worcestershire BNP. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 21.9.04 Dismay at new Bill - Congratulations on your hard-hitting and factually correct leading article on September 15 - Anti Hunting Bill Day. As my daughter, a deeply caring animal lover and hunt follower put it, "there are far more painful ways of killing foxes than hunting"…. R G Heiron, All Stretton (letter)

Shropshire Star 21.9.04 Violence at protest must be looked at - The hunting-ban protest at Westminster was appalling. An investigation is necessary to determine how the violent and bloodied conclusion came about. From the coverage we have been shown, it appears that some baton-wielding police behaved like bullies, beating the heads of ordinary people…. David Blackwell, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 21.9.04 Hunting should be up to the individual - I feel the some as Steve Smith (letters, Shropshire Star, September 16). I think the Government's time would be better spent dealing with more important issues… How many of us voted Labour because of their anti-hunt policy? Or were they voted into power because the public believed they would make Britain "great" again?.... Jane Hodges, Oswestry (letter)

Shropshire Star 21.9.04 Consistent MP to get my cross at election - I want to thank our Member of Parliament in Telford, David Wright, for voting for a ban on hunting with hounds…. Peter Ashworth, Stirchley, Telford (letter)

The Sentinel 21.9.04 OUR PRIORITIES ARE ALL WRONG - While watching the pro-hunt demonstration unfold on TV, and the subsequent invasion of Parliament, you have to ask, has this Government got its priorities right?... GJ KELLY Smallthorne (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 21.9.04 WORSE THAN FOX-HUNTING - What a fuss about fox-hunting! We'd better ban fishing too, it's equally cruel. Hunting does not always kill the fox. When a fox is killed by hounds, it is almost immediate, far better I am sure, than using poison…. Fox-hunting should be well down on the list for debate. Concentrate on cruelty to patients, those waiting months for appointments and operations at our wonderful NHS hospitals. Joan Lloyd-Davies, Ystradgynlais, Swansea (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 21.9.04 Bring on the ban - At last a ban against fox hunting and rightly so. It's sickening to believe this barbaric event can still be allowed to go on in these modern times…. R MEALING Middlesbrough (letter)


Herts Advertiser 20.9.04 Hunters out fox MP - ST Albans MP Kerry Pollard found himself at the heart of the security row which followed last week's pro fox hunting demonstration in the House of Commons. The demonstrators who broke into the Chamber used a letter with Mr Pollard's forged signature and that of another MP to gain access into the building…. (story)

Market Rasen Mail 20.9.04 AREA'S MP EDWARD LEIGH VOTES AGAINST HUNTING BAN - THE AREA'S MP Edward Leigh was one of the 166 voting against a hunting ban, after speaking at length in the Commons…. "The entire bill went through in seven hours with no opportunity for proper debate. It was a very, very poor show. It could have been Hitler's Reichstag."… (story)

Whitby Gazette 20.9.04 BILL HEADS FOR STATUTE BOOKS - THE Bill to ban fox-hunting and hare coursing in England and Wales had its formal first reading in the Lords on Thursday after passing all its Commons stages on Wednesday…. (story)

Horse & Hound 20.9.04 Blair admits to preference for regulation of hunting - Tony Blair admitted during talks on the Northern Ireland peace process at Leeds Castle last week, that licensing hunting was a sensible option… However, in a press briefing this morning, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman stressed that the next stage was the House of Lords and "will wait and see what happens there"…. (story)

Times 20.9.04 Hunting protesters seize on Blair hint BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - HUNT protesters were last night urged to drop plans for militant action after Tony Blair hinted at a compromise. Senior figures inside the Countryside Alliance believe that Mr Blair’s intervention could have been a signal to his own backbenchers as well as to the House of Lords…. (story)

Telegraph 20.9.04 No thanks, Otis. I'll stick with the Soho pack - Unlike several of my colleagues who were out there putting their skulls on the line for the cause, last week I was about as far away as it is possible to be from what we on this paper are now contractually obliged to call the great pro-freedom hunt riot. I was in Soho…. Personally, I would have been more impressed if, rather than getting exercised about the loss of his right to kill, he had invaded the Commons to protest about what is going on in Iraq, to jab his finger at sanctimonious politicians who suggest that citizens whose front rooms have been turned into abattoirs by US helicopter gunships ought to be grateful they are no longer living under the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein…. (story)

Telegraph 20.9.04 By Charles Clover - The first exercise of the new right to roam over open country took place amicably in the Forest of Bowland early yesterday in the absence of a single MP who voted for it and without expected disruption by pro-hunting demonstrators…. Seven members of local hunts lined up in silent rebuke to Pamela Warhurst, chairman of the Countryside Agency, as she was having a celebratory breakfast. Their placards said "Hitler Banned Hunting", "Pest Control Cull a Backbencher" and "More Access for Ramblers But Closed Areas for Hunting." Two policemen eyed them.... (story)

Guardian 20.9.04 Why Charles must disown his friends - Our huntsman Prince needs to say he accepts the will of parliament - Roy Hattersley - The issue is no longer foxhunting. From now on the argument is about the rule of law… Those of us who told Arthur Scargill to respect the will of a democratically elected parliament are entitled to say the same to the masters of assorted hunts…. (story)

Scotsman 20.9.04 Prince Charles intends to hunt despite ban - HAMISH MACDONELL - PRINCE Charles is preparing to ride into a political storm later this year if, as expected, he insists on continuing to go foxhunting - a move which would put him in direct conflict with the House of Commons, which has voted to ban the sport…. (story)

Scotsman 20.9.04 A debate marked by old prejudices and new hatreds - FORDYCE MAXWELL - AS THE song goes, "I’ve looked at life from both sides now" - and I’ve found that, in a working lifetime split fairly evenly between full-time farming and full-time journalism, both town and country have something to commend them. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, his rural critics believe that he has looked only at the town side and knows nothing about rural affairs. That is why, they say, he is making such a big mistake - not to mention, paraphrasing a little, a total mess - of trying to ban fox hunting…. Yet another irony his critics don’t see is that the Prince of Wales, a fox hunter and a man opposed to almost everything modern, who believes in the good life, as long as it doesn’t interfere with his comfort, and hard work on farms, as long as he doesn’t have to do it, is the rural hero for our times. Last year, readers of Farmers Weekly voted him the man who had done most for the countryside, an award Tony Blair is unlikely to ever receive. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 20.9.04 MP says sorry for hunt mix-up - Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has issued a dramatic apology to his constituents for misleading them over his staff's involvement with hunt protestors who burst into the House of Commons…. last night he admitted that he did know at that time that his secretary Eleanor Harris had met the protest ringleader Otis Ferry - son of singer Brian Ferry - for a drink two days before the security breach…. The Conservative MP, who is the economic affairs spokesman for the Tory party, has also said he is prepared to resign if the issue causes further embarrassment…. (story)

Oxford Mail 20.9.04 Parents defend daughter `duped' by pro-hunt leaders by Andrew Ffrench - The Oxfordshire parents of a political researcher accused of showing hunt protesters around the House of Commons have defended their daughter. Scotland Yard detectives have questioned Eleanor Harris, personal assistant to Conservative MP Henry Bellingham, about her possible links with protesters who invaded the debating chamber last Wednesday (September 15), according to The Mail on Sunday…. Robert Thame, who is in his 30s and a member of the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase, was one of the eight arrested… (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 20.9.04 Horseboxes block M-ways - a threat - PROTESTERS from the Ledbury Hunt at the centre of the storm on the House of Commons during the debate on fox hunting have warned they could take their campaign to the motorways…. (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 20.9.04 MP slams pro-hunt 'cowards' - PRO-HUNT campaigners have been branded sick cowards after dead foxes were left outside the office of an MP who voted to ban the sport. The corpses were left in the doorway of Wellingborough Labour MP Paul Stinchcombe's offices in Oxford Street in the town while the building was open to the public…. The dead foxes were left at 5.30pm on Friday but office staff did not move them because of fears they were booby-trapped. They were eventually moved by vets at a cost to the taxpayer of £120 and the attack was reported to police…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 20.9.04 WE'LL SAVE THE HUNT! by Chris Yandell - HUNT leaders in the New Forest were in defiant mood as they staged their first meet since MPs voted to ban the bloodsport. Members of the New Forest Hounds (NFH) forecast that the Countryside Alliance and its supporters would defeat a Bill that outlaws hunting with hounds… (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 20.9.04 Countryside Alliance launch court bid to fight proposed ban - LEADERS of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance have vowed to fight the proposed ban by mounting two court battles. The Alliance says it will contest the legality of the government's plan to use the Parliament Act to sidestep any opposition in the Lords and force the Hunting Bill on to the statute book.… (story in archive)

Northern Echo 20.9.04 Hunt supporters in pursuit of Rural Affairs Minister - Secrecy surrounded the plans of Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last night as he faced another confrontation with pro-hunt protestors after he pulled out of "right to roam" celebrations this weekend…. (story in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 20.9.04 LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO - COMMENT - The real debate over the future of fox hunting should be one of individual liberties rather than animal cruelty. Which is why any argument countryside folk may have about new right to roam legislation will carry much less weight than their gripes over the Government's hunting ban…. Unlike last week's anti- hunting legislation, this act will extend, rather than limit, individual freedoms. It is a law which has the potential to unite, not divide, communities…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 20.9.04 Landowners to fight back By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Angry landowners are planning a disobedience campaign in retaliation against the ban on fox hunting and impending 'right to roam' legislation, it was claimed last night. The Countryside Alliance says access permission for Government or amenity activities - laying or maintaining pipelines and cables, road improvements or setting telecom masts - could become a political weapon…. Richard Dodd, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said last night: "Rights are being given to those who don't own the land while we are no longer allowed to hunt on it. It's a disgrace…" Farmers have been threatened with loss of subsidies if they allow illegal hunts to take place on their land. (story)

Leicester Mercury 20.9.04 NOW IT'S TIME TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON FOX-HUNTING BAN - Leicester Mercury readers are being urged to have their say on Government plans to ban fox hunting, following last week's controversial House of Commons vote to outlaw it…. (story)

Shropshire Star 20.9.04 Hunters plan more action - A Shropshire man who led the storming of the House of Commons during the debate on hunting today revealed more protests against controversial moves to ban the countryside tradition were being planned. Otis Ferry, who is the joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt, said he had no regrets about his actions during the protests last week…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 20.9.04 'I JUST STROLLED THROUGH COMMONS SECURITY' - Julie Hemmings - IN his 36 law-abiding years, Richard Wakeham had gone no further than acquiring a couple of points on his driving licence for speeding. But the only time he was arrested he gained world-wide media attention – as one of the eight men who perpetrated the most serious security breach of the House of Commons in living memory. Mr Wakeham, a point-to-point jockey for the Middleton hunt, said the whole event – which took place last Wednesday as thousands of pro-hunt protesters demonstrated outside in Parliament Square – was like "an out of body" experience… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.9.04 RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES - THE Government might have succeeded in opening up rural Britain to the rambler, but it seems to have managed to close off the countryside to its own Ministers. The hundreds of walkers who gathered yesterday to celebrate their newly won freedom to roam were supposed to have been led, in celebration of the new legislation, by Alun Michael. Following last week's pro-hunt demonstration at Westminster, however, the Rural Affairs Minister had to pull out… Rather than encourage the good relations between ramblers and landowners that have already opened up new areas to walkers under local agreements, the Government is using the Countryside and Rights of Way Act as a legislative sledgehammer to crack a political walnut. As a result, it can only add to the ill feeling in rural Britain against the Prime Minister and his acolytes…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.9.04 FURIOUS CHARLES VOWS TO HUNT ON - Prince Charles is "furious" about the ban on hunting and desperately wants to support his friends in the campaign to stop it, it emerged last night…. The Prince traditionally hunts with the Beaufort in Gloucestershire, but has also attended the Heythrop Hunt and others in the Midlands…. Rick Naylor, the president of The Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, said that many forces would struggle to cope with trying to police hunts determined to break the ban…. "If we get mass disobedience, it's going to be a logistical nightmare for the police at a time when we are stretched for manpower. We are the people who are going to carry the can if it goes wrong."… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.04 WALKERS CELEBRATE THE RIGHT TO ROAM - Walkers yesterday won the right to roam across huge swathes of private countryside - yet the politician who made it possible was forced to stay away. Alun Michael was warned to steer clear of the countryside after threats of "thuggery and violence" from hunt supporters…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.9.04 BAD LOSERS ARE TRYING TO GIVE US YOB DEMOCRACY - A Bloke dressed as Batman evades security and climbs on to the balcony at Buckingham Palace; five protesters con their way into the chamber of the House of Commons while anti-hunt protesters storm the barricades outside; animal rights activists attack scientists. This is the age of yob democracy. All these groups will spout about liberty, freedom and justice, while not accepting the law of the land and the wishes of the majority…. You can't legislate via mob rule and minority votes, or we would have some pretty scary new laws - what do you fancy, public executions perhaps, or repatriation of non-whites? (story)

Western Morning News 20.9.04 YOU'VE LOST RURAL PEOPLE - A scathing attack on the Government's handling of the hunting issue was launched last night by Anthony Gibson, the South West regional director of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), as hunt supporters warned that the countryside was now a "no-go area" for government ministers… He said: "So deep is the bitterness and disaffection that has been generated in rural areas - not just by the Hunting Bill, but by many other real or perceived slights on the countryside interest - that I do not see how anything approaching a spirit of constructive engagement in a common agenda can ever be achieved for as long as this Government remains in office."… Mr Gibson's withering attack on the Government's handling of rural matters coincides with a revelation from former Devon NFU chairman John Daw that the Queen has previously warned Tony Blair that neither he nor his Government have any real grasp of rural issues…. (story)
Western Morning News 20.9.04 'IGNORANT, URBAN, UNCARING DICTATORIAL GOVERNMENT' - After last week's clashes in Parliament Square, one national newspaper spoke of a 'civil war' between the Government and people who live in the countryside…. The process of reconnection that Tony Blair started when he visited the Westcountry in the spring of 2002, and which Sir Donald Curry and his Policy Commission turned into a coherent series of policy proposals, has been torn to pieces… Partnerships have to be built on trust. How can farmers be expected to trust ministers who reneged on a commitment to regulate rather than to ban, not because of any compelling evidence or overwhelming pressure from the electorate, but simply to appease their own left wingers?... Only now, therefore, are the natives donning their war paint. They have shown no reluctance to debate the issue, but there is only one answer to such disrespect and abuse of power. None of us, I think, wishes to hear it. (story)
Western Morning News 20.9.04 THE DANGERS OF CLASS WARFARE - When the Minister for Rural Affairs - by definition and job description the politician supposed to represent countryside people in Government - dare not appear in the rural areas he is meant to serve, the "civil war" talked about by some national commentators begins not to sound exaggerated…. Shamefully, Alun Michael implied that it was not his own safety at those events that was the prime concern so much as that of "people and families". That was an outrageously careless and divisive statement. To suggest that pro-hunting protesters would injure women and children epitomises this Government's misinformation on rural issues, which used to be merely irritating and insulting but in the currently volatile atmosphere is irresponsible and potentially dangerous… (story)

South Wales Argus 20.9.04 Fox-hunting: tradition or atrocity? - LAST week the House of Commons voted by a large majority to ban hunting with dogs…. The move has provoked fury in rural Gwent communities like those in Monmouthshire, and promises to be an explosive issue in the run-up to the general election…. HUNT master Alan Hayes says he is prepared to go to prison to defy a hunting ban set to come into force in 18 months. The master of the Monmouthshire hunt, who was at last Wednesday's pro-hunting protest in Parliament Square along with 70 fellow pro-hunt supporters from Gwent, says he is prepared to "face the consequences" of breaking the law…. (story in archive)

Northern Echo 20.9.04 Show attracts hunting supporters - HUNT supporters were out in force at the 132nd Stokesley Show on Saturday following last week's vote by MPs to ban the sport. Members of Cleveland Hunt and Stokesley Farmers' Beagles took centre stage in the afternoon, inviting youngsters into the main ring to see the hounds…. (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 20.9.04 WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD - IT WAS shocking to see the savage and barbaric scenes outside the Houses of Parliament both from hunt supporters and the police. All I can say to hunt supporters is welcome to the real world because this happened in the 1980s to striking miners… This is a considered opinion, not an attack on rural people. They can’t break the law. Paul James, St Martins Close, Brampton (letter)

Guardian 20.9.04 The myth of the hunt - So, English literature is to be enlisted in support of the cause of hunting our native wildlife with dogs (Foxhunting gave English culture its leap and dash, September 18)? In its breezy, boorish, lazy, philistine insularity, the hunt does indeed represent a particular strain of anachronistic "Englishness"…. Jonathan Sawday, Professor of English Studies, University of Strathclyde
If foxhunting, as Max Hastings says, "has played so large a part in English rural life for centuries" then how is it that the Master of Foxhounds Association only dates from 1856 or that the famous foxhunter Sir W Beach Thomas in his 1936 book could say "hunting as we know it... belongs to modern England" and "in 1799 there were fewer than a dozen regular hunts"?... Mark Metcalf, Editor, The Rich at Play: Foxhunting, Land Ownership and the Countryside Alliance
Max Hastings should talk less and read more. A keen hunter himself, Trollope does not spare us a description of the horrors of foxhunting…. John Dekker, Teddington, Middx
"Foxhunting gave English culture its leap and dash," writes Max Hastings. May I add bullfighting gave Spanish culture its love of gore, Guinness drinking gave Irish culture its wordy talk… K McMullen, Hove, E Sussex (letters)

Independent 20.9.04 Farming is crueller than fox hunting - Sir: Every day in this country, acts of appalling cruelty are being committed. The conditions in which animals destined for our plates are kept, and the environment and manner of their death, are often squalid beyond belief… Foxes have to be eliminated, and fox-hunting has consistently been shown to be the most efficient way of keeping numbers down that ensures instant death once the hounds reach their target… BRIGID von PREUSSEN, Peterhouse, Cambridge
I live in central London. I don't hunt foxes or any other animal of any sort, I don't ride horses, and it is obvious that hunting and killing a fox is cruel…. Nature is red in tooth and claw, and hunting is cruel. Banning hunting is banning part of nature. Like all rich westerners, I do not have to hunt. I can squirm at the barbarity of it all while I stroll around the supermarket that sells every conceivable food, all neatly prepared and packaged…. If there is nothing wrong with bush Africans and Eskimos hunting, then there is nothing wrong with a bunch of toffs chasing a fox over several miles of countryside with a pack of hounds…. PADDY GOURLAY, London W6
Canon Chesterman differentiates between killing for food and "killing for fun" (Letters, 17 September). I agree that there is a difference between fox hunting and killing for food, but not in the way claimed by the Canon. Nobody has to eat meat. Meat eaters choose to do so because they enjoy it, and hence are guilty of killing for fun albeit at second or third hand…. Those who follow the hunt have less guilt than those who eat meat for fun, and the huntsman (who supervises the hounds) has less guilt than the slaughterman in an abbatoir. Dr DAVID ROTHERY Silverstone, Northamptonshire
f the majority of fox hunters were honest enough to admit that the only justification for their activity is their enjoyment of it I for one would have a lot more respect for them…. GEORGE F YOUNG Derby
As someone who was born in the country, and who has lived there most of my life, I thoroughly resent my views being misrepresented by the "Countryside Alliance". I and many of my country-born friends despise hunting for the cruel, bloodthirsty and unnecessary "sport" it is…. EDWARD COLLIER Bishop's Cleeve, Gloucestershire
In your reporting of the hunting debate, please remember that not all country dwellers support hunting…. JO ORMONDE, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (letters)

Times 20.9.04 Hounding the hunters - Is the Government’s decision to ban foxhunting more about class war than animal welfare? - ANATOLE KALETSKY’S article is spot on (Comment, September 16). Of course it’s all about class…. Needless to say, I have never hunted, yet I feel very strongly about the government’s motives and methods. The hunting ban could yet prove to be a catalyst. What I now most dislike about the Government is its insistence that it knows best how we are to live our lives - Anne Crew,Wigton, Cumbria
Culture clash … Does no one care about the hunting dogs? One hundred and ninety thousand will have to be put down because they cannot live outside the pack and are no use as household pets. Even this pales beside the loss of human livelihood. And they call foxhunting cruel… Nigel MacNicol,Oakham, Rutland
A sad day - I ATTENDED the Parliament Square demonstration last Wednesday. I stood most of the time on the parapet at the back and so had a fair view of what went on. The vast majority of the demonstrators were good-natured and law-abiding but a few went over the top, let off smoke bombs and pulled some barriers down. The police went in with a hail of truncheons, aiming apparently without discimination for people’s heads… Julian Pilcher,Steventon, Hampshire
Feudal left-overs … Foxhunting is a cruel and anachronistic hangover of the feudal system, and now the arrogant successors of that system are riding roughshod over the countryside. It is right that foxhunting should be done away with; then at least I can protest to my Spanish friends about bullfighting without fear of a riposte. P. Day,Doncaster
Double standards - IS IT not ironic that Labour preaches tolerance and inclusiveness and yet persecutes the minority who want to hunt foxes? Edward Thompson,London SW15
Hunting is humane … Hunting with dogs is the most humane way of keeping the fox population under control…. Annemarie Cayzer, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Political sacrifice - NO WONDER hunting people are angry. Their cause has been sold down the river by a government who has no interest in animal welfare, only in class hatred and political expediency…. Lucinda Roberts,
Classless cruelty - I READ Anatole Kaletsy’s article with amazement. Trying to belittle or detract from the main issue of animal welfare by turning the question of foxhunting into that of a class war smacks of a last-ditch attempt of a pro-hunt supporter trying to salvage an argument to perpetuate this obscenity. … Denise Revell,Banstead, Surrey
Taking it further - ANATOLE KALETSKY asks why opponents of foxhunting do not worry about the suffering of fish, cows or sheep. But why draw the line there? Yesterday I swatted a wasp…. David Gifford,Dorking, Surrey (letters)
Times 20.9.04 Effect of hunt ban on animal welfare Sir, Bear, bull and badger baiting (letter, September 16) were gratuitous acts of cruelty on captive animals deprived of their natural avoidance strategies and for no other purpose than betting, competition and spectacle. Quite rightly, these have been abolished, but in no sense can these practices be equated with the hunting of a free-living wild animal with all its natural avoidance strategies in place… LEWIS H. THOMAS, (Secretary, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management), Smiths Cottage, North Heath, Chieveley, Newbury RG20 8UA.
Sir, I congratulate Anatole Kaletsky on his analysis of how Labour has revived the class war (Comment, September 16). Indeed, your chief economic analyst seems to demonstrate a greater understanding of animal welfare than the Director General of the RSPCA… RORY FERGUSON, The Old Rectory, Ashdon, Essex CB10 2HP.
One of the misconceptions in the foxhunting debate is that it involves a clash between town and country. I have lived the greater part of my life in the country and I am a strong opponent of the so-called sport…. MARGARET BIRD, 2 Cleave Mill, Sticklepath, Okehampon, Devon EX20 2NH. (letters)

Daily Record 20.9.04 OUTFOXED - I AM glad fox hunting has been banned. The scenes on TVof the hunting mob throwing missiles at the police and breaking into the House of Commons were a disgrace.... Irene Watts, Newcastle
OUTFOXED - NOW a hunting ban is finally taking place in England, will the same people who campaigned so vigorously for it turn their attention to slaughterhouses?... K.G.Graham,by email (letters)

Yorkshire Evening Post 20.9.04 Democracy and hunting - Much of the Press and countryside alliance would have us believe that the protests we have seen in parliament are the actions of people who are fighting for democracy… we must ensure that democracy is upheld through the ballot box and not through the violence of an aggrieved minority. J Coates, Brooklands Lane, Menston
I have read a letter in the YEP complaining that Scottish MPs are being allowed to vote on the anti-hunting bill…. These people who don't remember the history of those times should learn about this part of history and consider what was good enough for English MPs is now right for Scottish MPs. R LAWRIE, Roundhay Crescent, Leeds (letters)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 20.9.04 Pro-hunting protesters - SIR, - While people on all sides of the hunting argument are busy condemning the pro-hunting protesters for gaining access to the floor of the Commons, I believe they deserve to be congratulated… When a so-called democratic Government persecutes a minority, the minority is left with little choice… The Labour backbenchers have proved their likeness to a gang of school bullies. The sooner they are out the better. Martin Sisley, The Prop House, North Ythsie, Tarves (letter)

Manchester Evening News 20.9.04 Labour con - YET again New Labour, under Tony Blair have procrastinated and ducked an issue. The banning of foxhunting was one of the promises that got this government elected…. Tony Blackwell and Lorraine Parker, Cardiff (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 20.9.04 SLIPPERY OLD FOXES - For once in the history of politics, politicians should deliver on their 1997 pre-election manifesto pledges and outlaw fox hunting…. AP Kirk, Swanage Close, Teeside (letter)

York Evening Press 20.9.04 Cowardly Blair - I AM no apologist for hunting but have always thought this was a democracy which purports to respect the wishes and beliefs of its law-abiding citizens…. Tony Blair is a moral coward who did not participate in Wednesday's vote and swings with the prevailing wind…. Anne Woodward, Upper Newborough Street, York. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 20.9.04 Hunt hypocrisy SO the vote on hunting has taken place and, no doubt, the press will be flooded with letters protesting at the decision to ban it. Moreover several representatives of pro-foxhunting groups have indicated that they will refuse to obey the law and carry on hunting anyway. What a pity Arthur Scargill and other extreme union leaders did not know that they had the wholehearted support of these rural `mi lords and mi ladies' when they conducted their own illegal activities… C Corbett, Bull Lane, Lawrence Street, York (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 20.9.04 PARTY PREJUDICE IS THREAT TO WORLD'S BEST COUNTRYSIDE - I Have had the privilege for many years of studying our quarry species, i.e. deer, fox and hare. Deer are hunted on Exmoor. Without hunting they would disappear as an agricultural pest. Foxes are hunted to live or die within seconds. They are vicious predators which will be killed by a snare, poison or hopefully killed cleanly by shooting… H. H. FOSTER Horncastle Road, Woodhall Spa
When Wally Croft agrees with Rachel Astill-Dunseith (September 14) you can bet your life something fishy is going on. Mrs Astill-Dunseith wrote about the fate of fox cubs at the hands of inhuman human beings. On a scale of animal cruelty, the number of foxes killed by hounds is infinitesimal when compared to the cruel treatment and slaughter inflicted upon millions of battery farmed pigs every year… Like Mr Croft, these Old Labour backbenchers believe that if hunt members defy the law and continue in their pursuit of foxes, they should be locked up and the key thrown away. And if the jails are full, Flunkett should implement an early release programme to let out murderers, violent criminals and paedophiles to make room for them?... DAVID McLEISH Michaelgate, Lincoln
A couple of weeks ago Wally Croft wrote in suport of animal testing in laboratories. No concern about animal welfare or cruelty was shown there. His latest letter was in support of the hunting ban on the grounds of cruelty. He can't have it both ways…. BOB MANSELL North Hykeham.
I lived at Burton Hunt kennels from 1947 to 1950 as my mother used to housekeep there when a Mr Mitchel, head huntsman, was in charge. Some of the things coming from our so-called MPs today would have him turning in his grave. He would have set about them all with his whip. In Parliament they just don't know how to run the country… MR T. K. CLARK Middle Street, Burton-by-Lincoln
How low can Lincoln MP Gillian Merron and the crony-ridden Government really get? Surely there is much more important business that the House of Commons can be addressing than a highly controversial attempt to ban fox hunting…. GEOFFREY G. BROOKING Trent View, Lincoln (letters)

Lincolnshire Echo 20.9.04 DEMOCRATIC DECISION ON 'SPORT' THAT NO LONGER HAS A PLACE - What a great day for democracy the fox vote was ... albeit amidst total chaos with progeny of pop stars and alleged pals of royals running amok in the Commons…. You either buy into this democracy or not, and tweed-clad women of a certain vintage shouting obscenities about Tony Blair while live on TV doesn't really do their cause much good and win any debate… TIM HARTLEY Dunholme.
Although not into foxes or indeed furry animals particularly, I certainly do not see why a cruel sport should be continued just because it is a favourite leisure pursuit of the royals and their hangers-on… HEATHER HOBDEN Elsham Crescent, Lincoln
I'm sure the hunting fraternity were right behind the coal miners 20 years ago when they fought to protect their jobs and communities. PETER CRONIN Branston Close, Lincoln
Let the ordinary working people of this island remember that these people of the so-called Countryside Alliance cheered when the police fought and suppressed the miners in Thatcher's day…. HAROLD BENNETT Reepham (letters)

Grimsby Telegraph 20.9.04 VIOLENCE IS SAD …. Maybe the police should have singled out one of the hunt supporters who was causing trouble and sent a pack of police dogs to chase him/her until the individual was absolutely exhausted and then allowed the dogs to rip them apart…. (Name and address supplied). (letter)

Scotsman 20.9.04 Absentees On seeing the invasion of the House of Commons by the pro-hunting protestors, I was puzzled as to the tiny numbers of MPs there… David Joy DUNFERMLINE
Fox Now that the Westminster Parliament has found in favour of the fox, I trust the fox will exercise more humanitarian measures when entering the hen-house. James Martin COWDENBEATH (letters)

Edinburgh Evening News 20.9.04 Pro-hunt lobby scores own goal THE invasion of the House of Commons by pro-hunt protestors (News, September 15) is the best news I have seen in a long time. By their actions they have completely destroyed the hunting argument and shown themselves up for what they are: a bunch of vicious thugs… Leslie John Thomson, Moredunvale Green, Gilmerton (story)

Western Mail 20.9.04 Mayhem will follow if fox hunting is banned - "Hey-ho and tally-ho", Tony Blair is crying and wielding his whip to yet again ban fox-hunting! Why can't he leave the countryside alone and let the country folk live their British way of life…. MARGARET R BEVAN, Llanellen, Abergavenny (letter)

Shropshire Star 20.9.04 Protesters inside the Commons - The Government and the whole country should thank the hunting community for what they did on September 15. They showed the people that this Government cannot secure their House let alone manage the countryside…. G E Middleton, Bucknell (letter)

Shropshire Star 20.9.04 Saying a prayer for huntsmen - Concerning the appalling pro-hunt spectacle at the House of Commons, it was referred to in a tabloid as civil war…. Pro-hunters have every right to protest, but when young mothers join their male companions outside to plead that blood "sports" be allowed to continue, one wonders how the next generation is to turn out…. Rev James Thompson, Holywell, Clwyd (letter)

Leicester Mercury 20.9.04 COMMONS' TYRANNY - One of the most disturbing aspects of the fox-hunting debate is that MPs do not seem to understand that, in a democracy, an absolute and unbridled power (the Commons) must act with care so as not to exercise that power tyrannically… At the heart of that consent is an understanding that Parliament will only curtail individual freedom to prevent damage to the interests of others, either individually or communally… It is no wonder that people feel disenfranchised and frustrated, especially those who stand to lose their livelihoods…. Ian Eperon, South Kilworth. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.9.04 Pro-hunting arguments miss the point From: JW Smith, Honeysuckle Close, Sutton-on-Sea, Mablethorpe I AM struggling to understand many of the claims made by the pro-hunting lobby….
From: Eric Bamford, Kenwood Road, Sheffield. WE really should take off our hats to Tony Blair when it comes to spin! The uproar over the hunting with dogs issue is a perfect diversion from the Iraq and Chechnya conflicts which have rightly taken centre stage in the media….
From: Philippa Dallas, Burton Leonard, Harrogate. THE Government has announced that, out of deference to the angling lobby, more licences to kill cormorants are to be issued…. This came in the same week as the Government introduced a bill to ban hunting – another field sport. The impartial observer may think it odd that Government policy is encouraging one field sport whilst making it a criminal offence…
From: William Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate. I HAVE seen several references in the press as to what will happen to the hounds when hunting is banned… would somebody please advise us what happens to the hounds when they are no longer able to hunt due to age or injury?...
From: J W Buckley, Throstle Cottage, Aketon, Pontefract. I DO enjoy reading the letters against hunting where people display their misunderstanding of what it is about, and some their outright prejudice… Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik said: "I haven't heard a single sensible reason why a ban on hunting should be imposed."…
From: John Richardson, Scott Lane, Wetherby. SO many pictures have been published showing the interior of the House of Commons during the most important debate on hunting with dogs. Why, if it was so vital, were there so few members in the chamber, and how was the ban motion carried by so many votes when so few took part?...
From: Simon Maufe, Malham, North Yorkshire. IT cheerED me up no end to see protesters invading the House of Commons and Buckingham Palace last week. It is a good healthy democracy that allows people to get face to face with their rulers….
From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme, Holmfirth. THE other day my dog, who regards all rural walks as hunting expeditions, presented me with a cock pheasant. When the "hunting with dog" ban becomes law, will his action make me liable to a spell in jail?... (letters)

Western Daily Press 20.9.04 A GREAT DAY, BUT WE WOULD RATHER HAVE BEEN HUNTING - I attended the rally in Parliament Square with my husband, son, daughter and many of our collective work colleagues and friends…. We had a wonderful day. But we would rather have been hunting! Mrs S Bleaken Address supplied (story)

Western Daily Press 20.9.04 'COUNTRY CUSTODIANS' BEHAVED LIKE THUGS - So, the self appointed "custodians of the countryside" had a day out in London on Wednesday. Are they the same people who claim to be "law-abiding citizens," those who say they are being victimised? They behaved no better than thugs; fighting with the police, invading Parliament and making a general nuisance of themselves…. Peter Clothier Calne Wiltshire (story)

Western Daily Press 20.9.04 THE HUNT FOR RATTY - Does the ban on hunting with dogs mean that Jack Russells, corgis, and all terriers cannot be used for ratting? D Hulin Clevedon Somerset (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 20.9.04 FAR MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO FIGHT FOR - I love animals, wild or domesticated, but I would never fight for one! I would fight for people however, people who can't fight for themselves. Try telling the families of those slaughtered kids in Russia about grown adults in London fighting about foxes. The whole debate pales into insignificance… MARK ADAMS, Preston Down Road, Paignton (story)

Western Morning News 20.9.04 RURAL PEOPLE RESENT BEING PREACHED AT - Probably, like a lot of other rural-living people, I am totally fed up with urban people telling us what we should do. May I equate the attitude of urban dwellers towards certain aspects of rural life, one being hunting?... those people who say it is cruel to hunt foxes are a part of society that uses off-road vehicles and demands more roads to be built, to kill and cause horrific injury to wildlife…. Rural people want a quality of life and a decent standard of living which I don't think any politician is the slightest bit interested in. City gents - leave the countryside alone; you will trash that in the same way as you have your cities. Sheila Johns, Veryan, Truro
Wake-up call - WHAT happens when free people are subjected to meaningless restraint? They do not co-operate by giving up their freedom… If Tony Blair has even two brain cells, to rub together, he should see the storming of the House as a wake-up call, and come to his senses. Dr Edward C Hamlyn, Ivybridge (letter)

Glasgow Evening Times 20.9.04 Ban a distraction - WHEN you look at all the real problems facing Scotland, Jack McConnell's proposed ban on smoking seems like a bit of a distraction. It's typical of our new Parliament to pick on a minority group to grab the headlines. First it was the hunting brigade and now it's us poor smokers. Who will it be next?... GORDON McNAIR Partick (letter)


Sunday Times 19.9.04 Comment: Jasper Gerrard ... Rock kids are last conservatives - Otis Ferry makes an unlikely Guy Fawkes. He was named after Otis Redding, who sat on the dock of the bay, not the dock of Bow Street magistrates’ court… Rockers’ kids are the last truly conservative group in Britain. Papa fought a cultural revolution; they lead the counter-revolution. In three generations the Ferrys have gone from miner to hunt master…. (story)

Sunday Times 19.9.04 Aristocrats and tycoons bankroll foxhunt lobby - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - THE pressure group leading the campaign to protect hunting with hounds is being bankrolled by some of Britain’s wealthiest men, leaked documents reveal. The Countryside Alliance has received more than £2m in the past six years from wealthy backers who include aristocrats, City figures, expatriates and UK-based foreigners…. (story)
Sunday Times 19.9.04 Focus: Tally-ho rebels: 'It's civil war' - They invaded parliament and fought police. But last week's clash was only the start, say protesters. Richard Woods and Gareth Walsh consider the battles to come… As is customary at the start of a new hunting season, Ferry and the South Shropshire hunt, where he is joint master, were in pursuit of fox cubs…. On Friday Edward Duke, leader of the Real Countryside Alliance, said attacks on water supplies, railways and power lines could be “legitimate”, although he admitted that they might prove “counter- productive”. He said he would prefer to target Labour ministers and MPs directly…. TO understand better what is happening in Britain’s countryside, take a look at the village of Nunney in Somerset. Dominated by the turrets of Nunney Castle, the village lies on the edge of the Mendip Hills and retains the image of a rural idyll…. some hunt supporters decided that they needed something more spectacular. Among them was Ferry, who had left Marlborough school to pursue his love of hunting, initially joining the Middleton hunt in North Yorkshire…. (story)
Sunday Times 19.9.04 Focus: Irish foxhunters won't welcome British invasion - JAN BATTLES - BRITISH foxhunters looking for somewhere to escape the ban needn’t bother coming to Ireland. Neither the anti-blood sports lobby nor their Irish hunting counterparts will tolerate an “invasion” from across the water. Hunt saboteurs and animal rights groups don’t want British hunters for obvious reasons. But Irish foxhunters are also against them because they say there’s no room. Although sympathetic to their British counterparts “plight” they suggest Britons should look instead to France or eastern Europe, where blood sports remain popular… (story)
Sunday Times 19.9.04 Comment: Rod Liddle: Snobbery, cruelty and the inhumanity of the hunt - A horrible part of me thoroughly enjoyed seeing those braying toffs given a good kicking by their erstwhile guardians, the police… The Countryside Alliance is right about one thing: many of us who are opposed to foxhunting also possess a dark and atavistic dislike of the people who take part in it, primarily on grounds of class envy and visceral loathing. I made this fairly obvious point a couple of years ago in a newspaper and was required to resign my BBC job… (story)
Sunday Times 19.9.04 Comment: Minette Marrin: Mud, blood and the joy of chasing foxes on a horse - Sometimes, early in the morning, walking down our London street I suddenly catch the scent of a fox. That sharp, suggestive, overwhelming smell takes me straight back to the Dorset of my childhood all too long ago and to powerful memories of the acute joy of foxhunting… (story)

Sky 19.9.04 RICH ARE FUNDING FIGHT - The fight to preserve fox-hunting is being funded by some of Britain's wealthiest people. The Sunday Times has reported that contributions to the Countryside Alliance have totalled more than £2m in the past six years…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Queen is 'exasperated by Blair's ignorance of countryside' By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter - The Queen has regularly warned Tony Blair for at least two years that his Government does not understand hunting and other countryside issues, The Telegraph can reveal. The warnings were given during their weekly audiences at Buckingham Palace and the Queen is now said to be "exasperated" that the country has been divided by the Labour Party's decision to ban hunting.... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Ordinary people who will not stop hunting - Cliff Dare, 36 surveyor and royal marines reservist... Alison Lawton, 42 nurse - Ms Lawton, a sister in a children's ward, hunts with the Albrighton in Staffordshire... Michael Keel, 29 fireman... Edmund Robb, 34 barrister... Kim Downer, 58 window cleaner... Polly Portwin, 27 publisher - She is joint master of the Bicester hunt with Whaddon Chase.... Theresa McCurrich, 30 supply teacher... Tim Lewin, 46 NHS dentist, He is also joint master of the Ledbury hunt.... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 We will break the law - but Blair is the criminal By Melissa Kite and Patrick Hennessy - In the end, it took a Labour MP loyal to Tony Blair to say what everyone, on both sides of the increasingly bitter hunting debate, was thinking yesterday. It could make him the most unpopular man in the Labour Party but, with refreshing candour and lack of partisanship, Barry Sheerman told The Telegraph that he feared that the Prime Minister had created the makings of a class war in Britain.... "I hated the way that Thatcher rolled over minority opinion like the miners. I never wanted us to be like that and I think people may come to feel that we are as insensitive to different minorities that we disagree with in the way that Thatcher was seen...." (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Hunt ban is revenge for Thatcher's defeat of the miners, says Labour MP By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - A senior Labour MP has admitted that the hunting ban is the party's revenge for the way Margaret Thatcher treated the miners. Barry Sheerman, a Blair loyalist and chairman of the Commons education select committee, said he was dismayed that some of his colleagues were using hunting in this way.... John Jackson, the chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: "I have been warning and warning that the countryside could erupt. That is now happening."... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Now ban this so-called field sport By Ross Clark - A local worthy invited to make a speech at a football club dinner need not flick far through his books on after-dinner speaking before coming across the story of how, on April 13, 1314, Edward II made a Royal Proclamation banning the playing of football in London... Why not? There is every reason why a ban on football should follow a ban on hunting on to the statute books. Look beyond the quaint language and what Edward II observed in 1314 is equally true today: football is a foul game which encourages loutish behaviour. It is played against a background of racist and homophobic chanting. It is sexist and class-ridden, being mainly played by drug-snorting men who sleep with prostitutes... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Rhyme and Reason By Peter Pindar - Insecurity... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Blair knows he's wrong - It has often been observed that the Prime Minister's moral vanity is such that he always persuades himself that whatever he is doing is right. In the case of the proposed ban on hunting with hounds, it is quite clear that even this figleaf of self-delusion has fallen. Mr Blair has no strong sympathy with those who would outlaw this ancient sport. But - after seven years of dithering - he has yielded to them all the same..... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 Howard's instinct is right. This is not Blair's poll tax By Matthew d'Ancona - Tony Blair's private position on hunting with hounds - or, more accurately, the depth of his indifference - was brought home to me recently by one of his confidants. The MP, a regular visitor to Downing Street, was startled that, when he calmly made the case for a ban, the Prime Minister, for the first time in his ally's experience, truly lost his cool. "Oh, for goodness' sake," said the exasperated Mr Blair. "I thought you were someone who concentrated on the things that matter." As last week's evenements around the Palace of Westminster showed, the future of hunting is an issue which matters very much indeed to a small, passionate minority.... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.9.04 It's ludicrous to say this is about animal welfare - By Lembit Opik - 'This is about the miners," a veteran Labour MP said to me as we entered the chamber together last Wednesday for the fox hunting debate. A moment later, the Speaker's chaplain encouraged MPs in the daily prayer to "never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please or unworthy ideals but, laying aside all private interests and prejudices, keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind". Especially with that prayer in mind, it is hard to overstate how depressing I find it to hear other MPs using the fox hunting debate to settle old scores and to pander to old prejudices.... (story)

Independent on Sunday 19.9.04 Hunt protesters vow to hit right to roam Militants force minister to cancel his plan to lead ramblers' celebration and warn country is a no-go area for government By Severin Carrell, Ian Herbert and Hazelle Jackson - Seven hundred and eighty nine years after the Magna Carta, 72 years after the courage of Kinder Scout, and 100 years after they were first proposed, the right of the English to roam over large tracts of their own country became a reality today - and promptly ran into a very modern complication. Pro-hunting groups, who, together with their opponents, have done so much to set country against town, are threatening to mar the fruits of a campaign for access that has gone on longer than fox hunting with hounds has ever done… (story)
Independent on Sunday 19.9.04 Focus: Oi! Tally-ho! The rise of the raging classes - Protest used to mean crowds of chanting comrades on the march. Now it means posh blood-sports enthusiasts splattered with gore, chums of royalty storming the House of Commons and fathers in fancy dress. Brian Cathcart on the new rebels who scorn old-style mass demos for personal stunts and direct action instead…. THE UNHAPPY HUNTER - Lord Mancroft, member of the Beaufort Hunt, 47 - The rule of law only works if people respect laws, and they only respect them if they are passed in a just and fair way…. (story)

Observer 19.9.04 Listen to the countryside - Matthew Fort - In spite of what has been said, declared or, in most cases, shouted, the bill banning hunting with dogs is not really about cruelty to animals. Still less is it striking a blow against the class system. It is about the final triumph of town over country. It is about the contempt that urban Britain has for rural Britain… (story)
Observer 19.9.04 Why the Ledbury set went to war - Pro-hunt protesters who invaded Parliament believed they were defending a way of life. Mark Townsend takes the temperature of rural Britain, and finds it raging… Grants and Son supply equipment to the Beaufort. Mainly, though, 'everyday folk' request £600 hand-made whips and cow-hide saddles. A hunting ban will mean a 75 per cent loss of income…. The Ledbury Set, named after the corner of England including chunks of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and south Shropshire where the perpetrators of last week's stunt hail, is characterised by its cliquey-ness. Those welcomed into the small, monied south Herefordshire scene are soon embroiled in a merry-go-round of scandal, gossip and smut… (story)
Observer 19.9.04 It's a lost cause, lads - The protesters who stormed Westminster are fighting against the popular tide of democracy - David Aaronovitch - I do not give a fig (this being the traditional unit for measuring indifference) about the issue of fox hunting…. Honestly, I sympathise. But you aren't Martin Luther King. So prepare to let it go. Drag hunt. It's over. (story)
Observer 19.9.04 Weasels race into foxholes - The papers had goodies and baddies wonderfully confused last week, writes Peter Preston (story)

Sunday Mirror 19.9.04 WHO REALLY GIVES A FOX - POOR old Democracy has taken a horse whipping again. All in the name of freedom, liberty and human rights, you understand. Hunt supporters brayed they were denied democracy while trying to put a stop to it. MPs insisted they are there to protect it but, as the empty green benches on TV testified so eloquently, only one in 20 was in the Commons when it was threatened.... For most people in Britain hunting is a long way down the need for change agenda, but it upsets Labour backbenchers terribly... (story)

People 19.9.04 YOU HELP BAN FOX HUNTING - FOX hunting is on the brink of being outlawed - thanks to YOU.... (story)

People 19.9.04 EAMONN HOLMES: LAY OFF THE HUNTSMEN, FOR FOX SAKE - LOOK, from the outset let me say I don't have a death wish on foxes.... for me and most of us they are just a bemusement. For other people they are a nightmare. They kill livestock. They kill, but dogs aren't allowed to kill them. It's an argument that I'm not qualified to give views on because it doesn't affect me. Likewise, it's an argument that doesn't affect the Parliamentary Labour Party. So bearing in mind all the things they could be debating and putting right, why are they obsessed with this?.... So what is the object of this Act of Parliament? Is it to protect the fox or is it hatred by socialists of the class that they think does the hunting? If it is that then it's wrong politically and it's wrong factually.... (story)

Sunday Herald 19.9.04 Let’s hunt down fascist brutes who prey on MPs - Muriel Gray suggests the pro- hunt lobby is a serious threat to democracy - IT should have been funny. Five dim, posh boys scurry into the debating chamber of the House of Commons, waving their arms about to protest against the democratic vote that has finally banned fox hunting…. Anne Picking, Labour MP for East Lothian, was showing her pass to a policeman on her way in to the building to vote in favour of the ban, when a thug whom she supposed to be a protester rushed forward, called her a f***ing fascist, and punched her full in the face…. Intimidating elected public representatives by violence is the stuff of dictatorships… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 19.9.04 Bloodied but still unbowed - BRIAN BRADY and KATE FOSTER - IT IS more than two years since Alison Bolt retired, but even when she was teaching German in a secondary school, she never had cause to get up at 4am. She was up before dawn last Wednesday, easing herself into a bone-chilling late-summer morning in Cumbria in time for a coach that would take her and almost 50 like-minded colleagues all the way to London to get their voice heard…. Of the tens of thousands of people who descended on Westminster, few had to travel as far as Bolt, her colleagues from the North Lonsdale hunt and those from the Coniston pack who shared the coach booked at the last minute from a firm 50 miles away…. (story)
Scotland on Sunday 19.9.04 The unspeakable in pursuit of England's secret patriots - THE Thing that leaves a trail of slime along Downing Street has found its poll tax. Blair’s hubris has finally mutated into an impulse for self-destruction. Bored by the foreign adventure that he is losing, he has sought distraction by igniting a conflict against his own country, which he will also lose. The unprovoked attack on rural Britain launched by metrofascists, in the form of the anti-hunting Bill, will have consequences unimaginable to the cretins who are promoting it. Civil war is coming to Britain, by the osmotic process that characterises such catastrophes; its advent is slow, but now almost inevitable… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 19.9.04 Hunters halt campaign to overturn ban - KATE FOSTER - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have abandoned a two-year legal battle aimed at overturning Scotland’s controversial ban on hunting with dogs. The Scottish Countryside Alliance will this week announce it has called a halt to its £500,000 appeal, as campaigners in England and Wales prepare to challenge the hunting bill passed by MPs last week…. (story)

Western Mail 19.9.04 Pro hunt protest delays Rally GB - Laura Kemp, Wales on Sunday - PRO-HUNT protesters delayed the start of one of the stages of yesterday's Wales Rally GB by forming a human shield in a village road. The group of six demonstrators blockaded the village of Llanfihangle Nant Bran, near Brecon, Powys, which delayed the first 12 competitors by half an hour… (story)

Luton on Sunday 19.9.04 Local fox-hunters rally against ban - LOCAL hunters were among the masses of protesters who bombarded the Commons this week. Members of the Aylesbury Vale and Oakley Hunt and Countryside Alliance joined 20,000 others in the pro-hunting demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday…. (story)

Sunday Mail 19.9.04 THREATS BY HUNT 'THUGS' - GOVERNMENT minister Alun Michael yesterday defended his decision to pull out of right-to-roam celebrations because of the threat of 'thuggery and violence' from pro-hunt demonstrators… (story)
Sunday Mail 19.9.04 MINISTER'S ANTI-HUNT MOB FEARS - RURAL Affairs minister Alun Michael yesterday defended his decision to pull out of right to-roam celebrations The Government minister said he had feared the threat of 'thuggery and violence' from pro-hunt protesters could have posed a risk to families at the event on Kinder Scout in the Peak District yesterday.... (story)

Sunday Times 19.9.04 Hunters' target - IT’S a good job John Prescott wasn’t in the chamber when the hunt protesters arrived. Things could have turned ugly. Robin Whiting, Dersingham, Norfolk (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.04 Police went too far - I do not hunt, but went to watch the anti-hunt ban demonstration at the House of Commons. I saw what I can only describe as police brutality…. Some observers might say that the police were out of control. Sadly, they were fully in control: they were beating members of the public who wanted to lawfully protest about a Government proposal. John Perry, London W1 (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.04 Flirting will get you nowhere - In response to Max Hastings's piece on hunting, I did not think or mutter that Sir Max is "One of the silly ****ers who put this lot there"; that is far too gentle a rebuke… No Sir Max, it is your fault and that of your fellows, who in political terms have acted like idiots by choosing to vote for a potential prime minister rather than for a party…. John H Roberts, Bromyard, Herefordshire (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.04 Cop or robber? I read in amazement about the policeman who rides to hounds with the Caerphilly and District Farmers' Hunt (News, Sept 12). Can this be the hunt that has trespassed on my land?... E Griffiths, Caerphilly, South Wales (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.04 Hare today, gone tomorrow? Nigel Farndale's account of hare coursing is inaccurate (Opinion, Sept 12). Hares cannot be classified as "fairly rare mammals", since a bag of 600 hares is common on a day's shooting in East Anglia. Under National Coursing Club rules, hares are not "caught and then released for greyhounds to chase and kill in front of spectators". In reality, wild hares are driven from the surrounding countryside by beaters onto the coursing field…. (Dr) John Stabler, Fakenham, Norfolk (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.04 Rules are par for the course Nigel Farndale is talking rubbish about hare coursing, as boxed hare coursing has been illegal for years. Greyhound coursing is governed by strict rules drawn up by the National Coursing Club…. Nicholas C Jenkins, Claybrooke Parva, Leicestershire (letter)

People 19.9.04 RIOTING THUGS PROVE WHY WE NEED A HUNT BAN NOW - I AM disgusted by the thuggish behaviour of the pro-hunt protesters in and outside Parliament on Wednesday... T Worth, Merseyside (letter)

Scotland on Sunday 19.9.04 Cruelty is the issue - IN HIS Sunday Essay, ‘The slaughter of the fittest’, Magnus Linklater wants the public to believe that the Protection of Mammals Act (Scotland) has resulted in many more foxes being killed…. Act is to stop the sadistic cruelty of chasing a fox for miles before the exhausted animal is torn apart by hounds. John F Robins, Animal Concern (letter)


Times 18.9.04 Economic Outlook: David Smith: An empty pot of pension gold - FOR ME, the interesting thing about the pro-hunt protesters who burst into the House of Commons last week was what one said to Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister. He was confronted with the words: “You’ve mucked up pensions. You’ve mucked up everything.” That may be a cleaned-up version of what was said, but the inference was clear. Even in the heat of the chase, and facing the loss of their ancient right to hunt foxes, they could not resist a swipe at pensions…. (story)

Times 18.9.04 Buy a fish and become a potential abuser - MICK HUME - I HAVE never really felt part of our alleged nation of animal-lovers. And if I hear many more sermons about the abuse and welfare of our furry, feathered and finned friends, they are in danger of turning me into a committed animal-loather. It wasn’t just the hunting debacle that raised my humanist hackles this week. There was also the goldfish affair…. we finally relented enough to buy our young daughters some goldfish. We were met with signs declaring that the shop “does NOT sell fish to under-16s”. But it soon became clear that it doesn’t sell them willy-nilly to any old adults, either…. This assumption that anybody who wants a pet must be treated like a potential abuser will soon be written into law by the Animal Welfare Bill…. Who needs animal rights extremists in training camps, when the tyranny of anthropomorphism is spreading from the House of Commons to the pet shop? No wonder the foxhunters are so hated; fancy still having the nerve to treat animals like animals… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo and/or Gloucester Citizen 18.9.04 HARSH LESSONS FROM THE HUNTING CHAOS - If they had to go down, they were determined not to go alone. The advocates of hunting have dragged a few other great British traditions down with them. Like openness of British democracy, for example. I won't shed any tears for the loss of fox-hunting, but it does strike me as sad that we look set to lose our quaint Westminster traditions as well… Tony Blair, beware. There are a lot of angry people out there. When the fox-hunting protesters broke into the House of Commons on Wednesday, where was everybody? There were perhaps 30 MPs on the leather benches. I would have expected to see a few more of our representatives paying attention (story)
Gloucestershire Echo and/or Gloucester Citizen 18.9.04 IS BAN AN INJUSTICE... OR AN END TO CRUELTY? - I Am not going to give this piece a title, it is simply an impassioned plea for Tony Blair's Government to reconsider its actions and not ban hunting. Do you honestly believe that Messrs Tony Banks, Gerald Kaufman and Alun Michael really give a toss about cruelty to animals? Of course they don't - if they did they would have long ago sorted out the misery of the battery hen… In banning hunting, they mimic Hitler in his destructive frenzies against those of whom he disapproved, and I, for one, am quite prepared to go to prison, if necessary, to oppose such injustice. (story)

Mirror 20.9.04 FIONA: A FERRY WITH NO MERCY - FOXES are pests, according to pro-hunt protesters. In my opinion, so are hunters.... (story)
Mirror 20.9.04 IT WAS EASY, BRAGS COMMONS INVADER FERRY - Exclusive By Richard Smith And Gary Jones - COMMONS invader Otis Ferry boasted of his exploit yesterday. The 21-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry bragged: "It was frighteningly simple. "The whole thing was literally planned on the back of a fag packet."... Ferry, joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt, and the seven others who got into Parliament insisted they had no insider help.... Fellow invader John Holliday was hunting foxes five hours after being freed by police. He rode at the front of the Ledbury Hunt. But they did not make a kill.... (story)

BBC News Online 18.9.04 Hunt protesters delay rally cars - Wales'leading rallying event was delayed by pro-hunt protesters blocking a road in mid Wales. The group of demonstrators formed a human shield to prevent cars passing through the village of Llanfinangle Nant Bran on Saturday…. The six protesters delayed the first 12 cars by almost half an hour before allowing the event to continue…. A small protest was also staged at the ITV Wales studios at Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff, where Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael was due to be interviewed…. (story)

Spectator 18.9.04 If Blair overrules the Lords on hunting, he should abolish them altogether - Simon Heffer - We have been told from time to time that one reason why the Prime Minister has been so slow in ‘reforming’ the House of Lords is that he feels it is important to have it, but he cannot decide what form it should take…. It need not concern Mr Blair that many who wish to ban hunting not only have no idea of the realities of the sport and its place in the countryside, but that foxes are far more likely to be shot, poisoned and otherwise trapped to extinction if it is banned. His only concern is that he gives a cheap thrill to a large number of MPs who would otherwise abhor him totally; and that therefore he might stay as Prime Minister for another four or five years…. If Mr Blair is not careful, such defecation over our institutions will cause the public — and not just the countryside protesters — to look for other, and less attractive, ways of seeking remedies for their ills. (story)

Telegraph 18.9.04 Hunt demos halt minister's roam By Charles Clover, Oliver Poole and Nic Fleming - Alun Michael, the minister responsible for the Hunting Bill, announced last night that he would not attend this weekend's "national celebration" of the start of the right to roam to avoid pro-hunting demonstrations…. Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: "There is now the interesting prospect that the countryside will become a no-go area for the rural affairs minister."... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 New security scare sparks row with MPs and minister By Andrew Sparrow and Brendan Carlin - Following theinvasion of the Commons chamber by five hunt supporters this week a fresh Westminster security scare provoked a row yesterday between MPs and ministers over who should be in charge of protecting Parliament.... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Activists plan to disrupt major roads into capital By Oliver Poole and Nic Fleming - The protesters at the centre of the plot to storm the chamber of the House of Commons warned yesterday that it was only a foretaste of weeks of "chaos" and mass civil disobedience. Major roads, including the M25, are likely to be blocked, demonstrations held across the country, and leading anti-fox hunting MPs picketed... As more details emerged of the pro-hunting invasion of the Commons, it became clear that the protest was more a last-minute schoolboy jape than a carefully-planned military-style operation.... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Rage rules and blood flows over the great divide By Vicki Woods So here we are, living in a civilised country famed for its tolerance, consensus politics and respect for law, and in the middle of an ordinary Wednesday class war breaks out. Bloodied skulls, flying police helmets, barricades and red-faced rage - it was the Battle of Orgreave Colliery all over again. Only the other way round. Tony Blair (offstage) played a blinder as Margaret Thatcher in her Tory prime and that bold larrikin, Otis Ferry, made a brilliant job of his pantomime villain, "King" Arthur Scargill. Better hair, too.... I went through all the pictures (looking for my neighbour the churchwarden's wife) and fell about laughing at The Guardian leader page, which was frothing at the mouth with Old High Tory rage... The divide is between some people who think it's right and proper to choose to hunt down and kill creatures (fish, foxes) for sport and other people - a larger number but let's not fret about the tyranny of the majority - who think all animals have feelings, rights, personalities and a place in heaven. (Except rats, and broiler chickens, and whatever animal it might be that goes into a supermarket beefburger.)... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Blooded protester says he'll be back By Stewart Payne - A pro-hunting protester injured in violent clashes during the Parliament Square demonstration this week said yesterday that the police response had been "disproportionate" as he told how he was beaten to the ground under a hail of batons. Stephen Mochford, a 32-year-old landscape gardener, suffered a four inch gash to his head that required 11 stitches.... Mr Mochford, who has ridden with the Southdown and Eridge Hunt since he was a child, said the experience had "doubled" his resolve to continue protesting.... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 We have the right to disobey those who won't let us be free By Charles Moore - Did you see that Turkey tried to pass a law banning adultery the other day? The prime minister of Turkey wanted to give something to placate his more militantly Muslim backers, while still pushing his country towards EU entry. There was a huge outcry, particularly by women, who knew that, in a male-dominated society, they would be the main victims. The law has been dropped. In Britain, the Prime Minister is under pressure from his own militants. He is trying to pass a law banning hunting.... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Not even the full force of the law is enough to make something legitimate By Adam Nicolson - The most important distinction, at the heart of a liberal society, is between the legal and the legitimate; but we are in danger of forgetting it. The legal is what the law, in its precision, allows or commands. It is what we are told to do. The legitimate, in some ways, is the opposite: what we think we should do, what people consider right or proper.... I am not a hunter and do not like hunting, but the illegitimacy of this Bill must be clear to anyone who comes, as Tony Blair does, from the tradition that sees government as a liberal and enabling force, rather than a restricting and forbidding one.... (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Pro-hunting school for MP's sons Nothing gets the sick bag moving faster than a Labour MP stoking up class warfare for his own electoral gain. And Spy has rarely seen a more egregious example than Hull MP Kevin McNamara in the Commons hunting debate... coming, as it did, from a man who sent his owns sons (Julian and Edwin) to proudly pro-hunting Ampleforth College, the £20,000 a year "Catholic Eton", it left an especially sour taste in the mouth. (story)
Telegraph 18.9.04 Notebook By Frank Johnson - The colonel rang to complain about the palaver over 'men who are tight' - My aged friend the retired colonel, who served in most world wars, telephoned this week from his home just outside Guildford to complain about "all this palaver" - in the light of the Serjeant-at-Arms and his men being alone responsible for dealing with those intruding pro-hunt demonstrators - against "men who are tight".... (story)

Times 18.9.04 Minister's right to roam hit by protest BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - ALUN MICHAEL, the Rural Affairs Minister, last night pulled out of an historic national event to celebrate the introduction of new right to roam laws after being warned by police that it would be hijacked by hunt protests… (story)
Times 18.9.04 Duke backs right to roam on his land BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Duke of Devonshire said yesterday that there was no reason why the new right to roam laws should not work. Peregrine Cavendish, 58, who inherited the dukedom four months ago, spoke out to quell tensions among landowners and farmers on the issue…. The Duke also appealed to the Government to think again about imposing a hunting ban. He said: “I don’t hunt but I absolutely defend the right of people to do so.” He is keeping his own counsel over whether he will allow illegal hunting on his land in the event of a ban…." (story)
Times 18.9.04 The unlikely class warriors in heat of the battle for Middle England BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES AND ANDREW NORFOLK - The hunt protesters believe the issue is human rights not animal rights - ON THE face of it David Redvers has little to complain about. Tall and good-looking, he lives in an idyllic farmhouse with his wife, Laura, and their 18-month-old son, Charlie, and owns a 650-acre stud farm and a string of successful racehorses. But behind the electronically operated gates of Tweenhill Stud near Hartpury in Gloucestershire, Mr Redvers, 34, feels under siege. It is not the gaggle of journalists gathered at his door that makes him feel this way. It is a government that has decreed that an activity he has enjoyed all his life is no longer legal… And lest anyone believe that the pro-hunt lobby is merely the preserve of the decadent aristocracy, Mr Wakeham found an unlikely ally yesterday when the local postman arrived to deliver the mail. Adie Noble, born and bred in Leeds, would fit no one’s idea of a toff, and yet he has spent many years as a keen foot-follower of beagle and foxhound packs… (story)
Times 18.9.04 Analyse this: Darian Leader: Foxhunting - Why we run with the fox, hunt with the hounds - What is a fox? The passionate debate about foxhunting has polarised not just Parliament, but thousands of people across Britain. The scenes at Westminster this week revealed a strength of feeling rarely seen in the public arena. And the virulence of the arguments suggests that more is at stake than the poor fox…. Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst and author (story)

Independent 18.9.04 Commons plot was hatched on the back of an envelope By Arifa Akbar The plot to storm the House of Commons was hatched the previous day "on the back of an envelope", according to one of the eight protesters arrested for the breach of security…. Meanwhile, another of the arrested men, John Holliday, 38, a member of the Ledbury Hunt in Herefordshire, travelled through the night from London to attend a 6am hunt, and was due to attend a hunt today as part of a local festival… Otis Ferry, 21, who is the junior joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt and son of the singer Bryan Ferry, was preparing for a hunt today. Caroline Foster, joint master of the hunt, said: "I'm sure he will have a hero's welcome. We are all very proud of him."… (story)

Independent 18.9.04 A-hunting we will go (even after a night in the cells) By Maxine Frith Social Affairs Correspondent - Just after 6am yesterday, John Holliday put on a scarlet jacket, tight white jodhpurs and braved the pouring rain and dawn cold to spend the next few hours chasing - in vain, as it turned out - a fox across the countryside. Barely six hours earlier, he had been released from a central London police station after 32 hours in custody on suspicion of causing violent disorder in the House of Commons. But even a sleepless night in the cells and the unseasonable weather were not enough to dissuade Mr Holliday from his usual Friday morning outing with the Ledbury Hunt…. Gill Purser and her husband David are local farmers who banned the hunt from their land 15 years ago. Mrs Purser said: "I am against hunting anyway but we just got fed up with the way they behaved…." (story)

Independent 18.9.04 The men in tights fight reform of Westminster security By Colin Brown Deputy Political Editor - A power struggle at the Commons could lead to resignations over the glaring breaches in security which were exposed by fox-hunting supporters and a journalist who smuggled a dummy bomb into the Palace of Westminster…. There were calls last night for more security around MPs in their constituencies after masked pro-hunt campaigners terrorised an MP's family. Phil Sawford, MP for Kettering, said his wife woke up at 4am on Wednesday to find a man in a balaclava and an accomplice in a monkey mask threatening to dump 10 tons of manure on their front garden in his constituency in protest at Mr Sawford's support for a ban on hunting…. (story)

Independent 18.9.04 Rambling free: the lure of Britain's countryside explained as right to roam is ring-fenced at last By Ian Herbert North of England Correspondent - For more years than many can remember, the low road through Lancashire's Trough of Bowland has provided tantalising glimpses of a forbidden land… The conjunction of the vote to ban hunting and the opening of the new right-to-roam areas means the local landowners hardly shared Mr Brodie's enthusiasm yesterday. "On the one hand, the Government is denying one part of the community access to a sport they have followed for years and on the other opening access to walkers," said Mark Hudson, president of the Country Land and Business Association. Predictably, the rural affairs minister, Alun Michael, has now cancelled plans to join ramblers at Bowland and in the Peak District tomorrow morning, after the Countryside Alliance warned he would be greeted by angry pro-hunt protesters…. (story)

Guardian 18.9.04 Foxhunting gave English culture its leap and dash - Our new ruling establishment is committed to a suburban monoculture - Max Hastings … For a moment, let us put aside familiar arguments about the morality of foxhunting. Instead consider the weird, extravagant culture which has played so large a part in English rural life for centuries, and which was so eagerly consigned to oblivion by the Labour benches on Wednesday…. Soon, the only survivals of a batty yet wonderfully colourful heritage will be pubs named the Fox And Hounds. Perhaps Mr Tony Banks and his friends will feel more comfortable when these, too, are suppressed, replaced by some ideal New Labour niterie christened The Halal Butcher. (story)
Guardian 18.9.04 Commons leader in security row with MPs - Michael White and Richard Norton-Taylor - Robin Cook yesterday placed himself at the head of a cross-party coalition of MPs determined to prevent either government or parliament overreacting in their response to the foxhunters' invasion of the Commons… (story)
Guardian 18.9.04 Protest threat forces ministerial retreat - Duncan Campbell - The rural affairs minister, Alun Michael, yesterday pulled out of a planned visit to the countryside this weekend, after police warnings that he could be confronted by hundreds of pro-hunting activists… His announcement came as the chairman of the Countryside Alliance, John Jackson, condemned pro-hunt supporters who invaded parliament and blocked motorways and spelled out what he regards as acceptable forms of protest…. "The Countryside Alliance would never recommend its members, or others, to engage in civil disobedience by breaking the law," he wrote then. "It would say that it regarded the matter as one for the individual conscience, and endorse the thinking of Henry David Thoreau in his essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience published in 1849." Thoreau's argument, which was often quoted by abolitionists opposing slavery in the United States before the civil war, was that there was a higher moral imperative than the law itself, which could justify disobedience to the law if it was shown to be manifestly unjust. (story)

BBC News Online 18.9.04 Minister defends march decision - Minister Alun Michael has defended his decision to drop out of a rural march - a move pro-hunters said showed the countryside was a Labour "no-go" area. The rural affairs minister said he was acting on police intelligence by not taking part in Saturday's "right to roam" march…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.9.04 'No-go' jibe as Michael pulls out - A pro-hunt group has warned minister Alun Michael's decision to drop out of a march shows the countryside is a no-go area for Labour…. (story)

Express 18.9.04 Invasion of Commons 'simple' - The ringleader of the daring Commons invasion has insisted it was "frighteningly simple" to carry off their stunt… (story)

icScotland 18.9.04 Invasion of Commons 'simple' - The ringleader of the daring Commons invasion has insisted it was "frighteningly simple" to carry off their stunt…. (story)

Shropshire Star 18.9.04 Hunting fans on rampage - Fox hunting supporters from rural Shropshire and Mid Wales want to storm Telford in a determined bid to lobby urban MPs and make them listen to "the countryside's point of view". They are threatening to pester Wrekin MP Peter Bradley and Telford MP David Wright at constituency surgeries and stage mass demonstrations to show Telford people the strength of feeling…. The Countryside Alliance is now co-ordinating with huntmasters from the Ludlow Hunt, United Pack in Bishop's Castle, Teme Valley, Knighton, North Shropshire Hunt and Wheatland Hunt in a last-ditch measure to stop the ban…. (story)

Western Morning News 18.9.04 HUNT BAN THREAT TO FUTURE OF RED DEER - A pressure group which describes itself as "neutral" on the hunting issue has called for an urgent action plan to protect Exmoor's red deer in the event of a ban on hunting with dogs. The call has come from the Exmoor Society, which warned that a ban on hunting, even with an 18-month delay, would have serious implications for the future of Exmoor's red deer herd… (story)
Western Morning News 18.9.04 ANTI-HUNTERS SAY THANKS TO MPS - Supporters of the anti-hunting group the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) have been congratulating MPs who backed a ban on hunting. Peter Anderson, a spokesman for the LACS in the Westcountry, said: "We have been urging our supporters to do that…." (story)

Western Daily Press 18.9.04 JOB FOR SPECIAL BRANCH - Landowners reacted with fury yesterday after it emerged that the Government plans to police a fox-hunting ban by using CCTV cameras on trees, hedgerows and fences through the countryside…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 SMILE, YOU COULD BE ON CAMERA IF GOVERNMENT HAS ITS WAY - Plans to police hunting by using CCTV cameras on trees, hedgerows and fences throughout the countryside were last night condemned by landowners. They warned the scheme - dubbed CCTreeV - will further anger rural communities, waste money and cause legal problems… CLA President Mark Hudson warned: "I think the Government would be very poorly advised to go ahead with something like this. "I can't believe it's seriously being considered - we're told that enforcing a ban could cost in excess of £30million and would divert resources from front-line policing. Is a hunting ban so important that front-line policing would be diverted to stick a CCTV camera on every tree in the countryside? (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 IT'S BACK TO NORMAL FOR THE WESTMINSTER EIGHT (MEDIA PACK EXCEPTED) - Supporters of hunting across the West will become increasingly militant in the run-up to the election - and the Parliament break-in is simply a foretaste of the disruption to come. That was the message from pro-hunters last night as the eight-strong gang, arrested for bursting into the Commons chamber, defended their controversial protest…. The master of Britain's leading hunt, the Beaufort, was backing one of his huntsmen, royal friend Luke Tomlinson. Captain Ian Farquhar, who is also a friend of the Prince of Wales, summed up the mood in the rural Britain. "It makes me tremendously sad it's come to this, but for the eight who got in to the Commons - good on them." (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 AUCTIONEER IN HUNTING COUNTRY WITH A LOT OF FANS - Less than 36 hours earlier his name had been flashed around the world as one of the eight-strong gang who became the first group to storm the Commons since the days of Charles I. But yesterday, Andrew Elliot was back behind the auctioneers' lectern selling horses, chaps and £10 horse blankets…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 AFTER THE BLUNDERS, ON GOES THE INFIGHTING - The security crisis at Westminster intensified last night as senior Government figures battled with the "men-in-tights" to bring in an effective new regime. Wednesday's hunt scandal - when five men invaded the Commons chamber - was followed by a second blunder when it emerged an undercover reporter had been working at the Palace of Westminster as a waiter… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 COMMONS PROTESTERS BAILED (story)

Yorkshire Post 18.9.04 MINISTER DUCKS PROTEST ON POLICE ADVICE - Julie Hemmings - COUNTRYSIDE Minister Alun Michael has pulled out of two public engagements tomorrow on police advice after the Countryside Alliance announced plans for protests at the events. And last night, after the Minister announced his withdrawal, the Countryside Alliance then cancelled its protest…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 18.9.04 BLUNKETT IS TOLD: HANDS OFF SECURITY - Julie Hemmings - Commons authorities last night insisted they – rather than the Government – would decide if a new director of security is needed at Westminster…. After hunt supporters stormed the chamber on Wednesday, The Sun revealed that a reporter posing as a waiter had smuggled a fake bomb into parliament…. The eight men arrested after the Commons invasion – including point-to-point jockey and Yorkshire aristocrat Richard Wakeham – were released early yesterday morning after being held at Charing Cross police station in central London for more than 24 hours…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 18.9.04 MP'S ANGER AT 'DISAPPEARING' VOTE JIBE - Teignbridge MP Richard Younger-Ross has angrily denied accusations that a number of Liberal Democrat MPs from rural areas ducked out of this week's key Commons vote on hunting. The Lib Dem MP did not vote on the second and third readings of the hunting bill. He has previously opposed a ban but indicated last week he was undecided. The stance of a number of Liberal Democrats from rural communities was attacked by East Devon's Tory MP Hugo Swire after Wednesday's acrimonious vote…. (story)

Western Mail 18.9.04 Hunted Michael pulls out of walk - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael last night announced he had "reluctantly decided" not to join hundreds of ramblers to mark a new right to roam law, following police advice. The statement came as the Countryside Alliance said it planned to demonstrate on Sunday as Mr Michael walked across land in Derbyshire opened up under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act…. (story)
Western Mail 18.9.04 Hunt supporters claim CCTV plans afoot - Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail - PLANS to place CCTV cameras on hedgerows, fences and trees along known fox-hunting routes in Wales are being opposed by landowners. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has written to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett and Rural Affairs Minister, Alun Michael, to express concern about reports that police chief constables intend to site CCTV cameras to photograph hunt members who break the law if a ban comes into force. The CLA says it doesn't understand why the spy cameras are necessary when they have not been deployed to track down hare poachers or the fly-tippers whom they say blight rural areas…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.04 MP CRITICISED ON HUNTING BILL - A Devon MP has been criticised by a local Tory for not voting on the Hunting Bill. Stanley Johnson, prospective Conservative candidate for Teignbridge, has expressed concern that Lib-Dem MP Richard Younger-Ross did not attend Wednesday's vote in Parliament… (story)

Newcastle Journal 18.9.04 Minister pulls out of public ramble By Neil Mckay, The Journal - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael was accused of running scared last night after he pulled out of a public ramble for fear of confrontation with hunt supporters… Neighbours in the rural North-East remain at odds over the fate of fox-hunting. For people in close-knit communities like Rothbury, the impending blood-sport ban is such a sensitive issue few would voice their opinions publicly - but hunt supporters tended to be more forthcoming…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 18.9.04 Norfolk MP admits hunt protest link - A Norfolk MP today admitted his staff may have unwittingly helped the House of Commons hunting protesters. Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk and the Tories spokesman on Economics Affairs, said his personal assistant Eleanor Harris had led protester Otis Ferry into the Commons. Mr Bellingham, who is a hunting supporter, claimed she had been "duped" into showing him around just 48 hours before Mr Ferry and four others stormed into the chamber… (story)
Evening News 18.9.04 Norfolk MP admits hunt protest link - A Norfolk MP today admitted his staff may have unwittingly helped the House of Commons hunting protesters…. (story)
BBC News Online 18.9.04 MP's aide gave tour to protester - A Norfolk MP has admitted his assistant unwittingly gave a pro-hunt protester a tour of the House of Commons before Wednesday's security breach. During a BBC interview on Thursday, Tory MP Henry Bellingham denied his staff had met any of the protesters. On Saturday, he told the BBC protester Otis Ferry was shown around Parliament and taken to a terrace for drinks. He said he had known about the tour, but his chief whip had told him not to mention it until police were informed… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 18.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS - What happened when the anti-hunting MP, the horsebox and the woman injured in the Parliament protest met… Phil Hope, who represents Corby and Northamptonshire, was leaving Nassington School, in Nassington, near Peterborough, after opening a new computer suite yesterday afternoon when he was confronted by a small group . The protestors, who waved banners carrying messages such as Fight the Prejudice, Fight the Ban, attempted to speak with the Labour MP as he got into his Rover 75. But bedlam ensued in the quiet village lane as Mr Hope's car was involved in a crash with a horse box towed by a 4X4 car being driven by one of the protestors…. Mr Codman, who is a member of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, got out of his car and asked the Labour MP for his name and details… (story)

Worcester Evening News 18.9.04 MP in security call as protesters bailed - AS the three members of Ledbury Hunt who stormed the Commons returned home on police bail in the early hours of yesterday morning, Worcester MP Michael Foster called for "wholesale" changes to be made to security in the Palace of Westminster… (story in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 18.9.04 Shock of MP over protest in Commons - Black Country MP Sylvia Heal has spoken of her shock when protesters invaded the Commons chamber as she presided over the debate on the bill to ban hunting…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 18.9.04 HUNT DEMO IS A CIVIL AFFAIR - I was in attendance to rally peacefully in Parliament Square against the proposed ban on fox hunting (Echo, September 16). The rally was generally peaceful but, unlike previous gatherings, the strength of feeling and animosity toward the current Government was noticeable… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 18.9.04 ACCEPT HUNTING IS DEAD - Spare us any more articles about poor, dispirited Robert Howarth (Mail, September 14). So hunt supporters love their hounds so much, they starve them before the chase and despatch them with a bullet in the back of the neck when too old to keep up?... Jeremy Wilcock, Main Street, Kilnwick, near Driffield. (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18.9.04 Police reaction was over the top - Sir - As someone opposed to fox-hunting, I must say I was horrified by the TV footage of police over-reaction during the Countryside Alliance protest in Parliament Square on Wednesday…. Clearly, some countryside protesters stepped outside the bounds of peaceful protest, in the use of fireworks and smoke bombs, but that is no excuse for lashing out at those who were merely involved in the sort of good-natured pushing and shoving that often happens when protest meets with authority…. Karl Dallas, Church Green, Bradford
Well done to the Labour Government for finally banning fox-hunting, though it should have been banned 200 years ago along with bearbaiting and dogfighting…. Scott Alden, Thornacre Crescent, Wrose
On with the hunt! Sir - One can understand the anger and frustration of the pro-hunting lobby but cannot condone the violation of Parliament in any shape or form…. Hands off the hunt, I say. Phil Boase, Elizabeth Street, Wyke (letters in archive)

The Sentinel 18.9.04 BLAIR HUNTING ELECTION LOSS - The huge protest by thousands of fox hunting supporters in the square outside the House of Commons, and the break-in by the five to add further emphasis to their cause - by people who are normally law-abiding tax paying citizens - reveals that there is something much more serious which is antagonising the British public…. NORMAN WRIGHT Forsbrook (letter)

The Sentinel 18.9.04 LITTLE SUPPORT FOR THE MINERS - I would say to the hunt supporters what John Wayne is reputed to have said to the cocky young cowboy, 'Get off your horse and drink your milk'…. Where were they for the miners, the shipyards, the steel workers and the car workers?... M J GREEN Trentham (letter)

The Sentinel 18.9.04 BARBARITY CONSIGNED TO HISTORY - If ever there were any doubts in the minds of the general public that the supporters of hunting with dogs included thugs and vandals, lawbreakers and attackers of the police, the scenes which appeared on our television screens on Wednesday night must have dispelled them… CYNTHIA LUBACZ Leek (letter)

The Sentinel 18.9.04 PANDERING TO FOREIGN IDEAS - Just how can this hypocritical Government even consider banning our traditional hunting activities, citing cruelty to animals as the reason, while on the other hand it is turning a blind eye to the increasing production of halal and kosher butchery NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 18.9.04 DEMOCRACY CHALLENGED - The hunt lobby's warning that they will ignore a new law to ban hunting is a direct challenge to democracy and public opinion which overwhelmingly supports the outlawing of fox hunting…. Yvonne M Holley, The Marina, Swansea (letter)

Bolton Evening News 18.9.04 WE are constantly being told to embrace diversity by the London-based "Metropolitan elite"… We live, they insist, in a "multi-cultural", tolerant society. On Wednesday, September 15, these very same people voted to criminalise fox-hunting… M Ford, Moss Lane, Bolton

Yorkshire Evening Post 18.9.04 Save the fox - The fox is one of nature's fine scavengers. With a diet of rats, rabbits, etc, the fox helps control those which really do damage farmers' wealth…. The hunter chooses to ignore these benefits for much better mileage can be secured by the old one about the fox and the hen house for, apparently, the fox is a vicious killer who enjoys killing for killing's sake…. BARRIE FROST, Reigton, Filey (letter)

Independent 18.9.04 Hunting ban, rural protest and others - This hunting ban is the final straw for country people - Rural anger over hunting reflects the fact that for many country people the ban is the final straw in a shameful campaign of bigotry and injustice by the Government…. AIDAN HARRISON, Netherwitton, Northumberland
We won't doff our caps to the townies - The often lucid Johann Hari let himself down when he launched his hysterical argument that country dwellers should doff their caps, accept a ban on hunting and thank urban types for their generosity in subsidising the rural existence… What about the rights of minorities? If a similar proportion felt, for example, that gay couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt children, wouldn't there be a suspicion that a reactionary majority were spoiling the lives of a minority, and that this would be wrong? JONATHAN EVANS Reading
Not only do "townies" subsidise farmers, we also have to fling financial incentives at them just to conserve landscape features and provide access for walkers, riders and mountain bikers…. Landowners can reap financial benefits from "green tourism", as opening up rural areas for recreation will create new jobs and business opportunities…. NICK BURTON, Bolton, Lancashire
Johann Hari wrote that country life is only possible because townies subsidise rural areas and that country people should be thanking the townies for this subsidy…. For Mr Hari to suggest that country people should sacrifice hunting as a way of thanking townies for years of subsidising them is as absurd as demanding that the Scots give up the bagpipes to reward the English for putting up with the inequalities of the Barnett formula. GEORGE CAZENOVE London SW4
I am looking forward to the day that Johann Hari shows some humility - or even gratitude - to long-suffering readers who continue to buy The Independent and keep him in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed…. BEN WILLIAMS Basildon, Essex
Commons security Security in the Palace of Westminster has always been eccentric. A couple of years ago I went to watch a debate in the House of Commons. When the security guard put my bag through an X-ray machine, he discovered a penknife that I'd forgotten was there. He asked me to open the knife. I opened the two sharp blades. "OK", he said, "you can go in."… About a month later, I went to watch another debate…. My lunch was a banana. When a security guard searched my pockets, he confiscated my banana. When I asked why, he said it was to prevent me throwing it into the chamber. I never understood why I could be trusted with a knife but not a banana…. ANDY CULLEN London SE15
One of the most striking aspects of the ignominious breach of security in the chamber of the Commons is the contrast between the violent activities of those hunt supporters involved, and the two million anti-war protesters who marched peacefully in an attempt to stop an illegal and uniquely unpopular war which we knew would lead to many thousands of deaths…. RICHARD BAKER West Kingsdown, Kent
Armed and angry Sir: Perhaps the Government should think a little further ahead, or have been a little more knowledgeable about their adversary before introducing the hunting Bill…. SIMON DEWHURST, Malpas, Cheshire
Illiberal legislation I am a very proud member of the Labour Party, but this government's obsession with banning hunting with hounds, which came to a head on Wednesday, only serves to expose much of what is bad in our movement. Too much ground has been given to the class-warriors and inverted snobs within the party who love a bit of toff-bashing even if it means riding roughshod over civil liberties… JOHN BLANCE London SW4
I should have an axe to grind about hunting, as on the day of the vote a cheeky fox sauntered off with one of our hens… Those who will suffer most from this ill-advised class-war legislation is neither foxes, nor hounds and horses but, indirectly, men, women and children blown to hell in Iraq because of an illegal, immoral war that Blair had blundered into. He can continue with his disgraceful adventure only by throwing a juicy bone to distract his baying backbenchers, and a hunting ban is that bone…. BENEDICT LE VAY, Greatham, Hampshire
I see no problem for the hunting fraternity if our out-of-touch Parliament passes a hunting ban law - just ignore it and carry on as normal! (Most of the population ignore the law when driving their vehicles and using their handheld mobile phones.)… History has shown that in this country, non-violent demonstrations have had no effect on Parliament - it's only when the population take to the streets and full-scale riots ensue that anybody in government listens. C A LOVE Weston-super-Mare, Somerset (letters)

Telegraph 18.9.04 Elderly are no threat I am a 71-year-old granny who was at the demonstration. I do not hunt: I was there for the principle of freedom…. At 5.40pm, we decided to go home. On leaving the square, I was jostled off the pavement on to the edge of the road, where a young policewoman took exception to my presence and drew her extending baton. My husband said: "I hope you are not going to hit my wife." She replied: "Shut up and move along."… I would have thought that the Metropolitan Police would have been better trained and realised that two elderly people were no threat to Parliament or, indeed, the police. From: N. Glaisyer, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos (story)

Telegraph 18.9.04 Whose decision? Yesterday I saw a young man in my surgery who had been at the hunting protest in Parliament Square on Wednesday. He had been repeatedly hit on the head with some violence by a policeman with a truncheon… did the Met's Chief Commissioner order this action, or was it mediated by the Home Secretary of a politically destitute government who couldn't care if these actions were to cause serious brain injury? From: Dr John Disney, Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos (letter)

Times 18.9.04 Security issues Parliament must face - Visitors to the Palace of Westminster will have seen notices urging all those who work there to wear prominently their access passes at all times “whilst on the Parliamentary Estate”. In my experience this was punctiliously observed by employees of Parliament but seldom by Members and their office staff of either House… M. A. McDONALD, (Visitor Manager, Houses of Parliament, 2000-03) Little Brampton, Bull Lane, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 8RY.
The intrusion into the Commons debate on foxhunting highlights the farcical nature of so-called democracy. MPs had such strong views that the Bill was passed with a majority of 190, yet the cameras showed that only about thirty of them were bothering to listen and participate in the debate at the time the protesters broke into the chamber. Yours faithfully, RUTH WILCOCK Essex.
I note that the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Foreign Secretary (inter alia) all abstained from voting on the Hunting Bill. How reassuring that these senior ministers lead from the front…. MERIEL WALTON, Shortacre, Park Road, Winchester SO23 7BE.
Seven years ago, while on duty and wearing full naval uniform, I was threatened with arrest by a police officer inside the Palace of Westminster…. Where was this puffed-up popinjay yesterday? Yours faithfully, GEOFFREY CARR, 7 Canon Square, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 6LX.
I may be a victim of terrorism when travelling by Tube or bus or train but we commuters accept the risks and go about our business. Should not our representatives in Parliament do the same? Yours faithfully, HELEN GRIERSON, 4b Swan Street, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3AD (letters)

Western Morning News 18.9.04 CAMERAS COULD BE HUNT'S NEW QUARRY - My morning was cheered up by reading that the police may use concealed CCTV cameras in the countryside to detect illegal hunting activities once a ban is imposed. A new sport of camera hunting will be born, which will enhance the day no end…. Presumably the police will have to seek permission to place this equipment on private land or obtain a warrant to do so. Magistrates could well deem such activities an unjustifiable waste of police time and money and refuse to issue such warrants - a rich field for the lawyers… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury, South Devon (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 19.8.04 PAST SHOWS THAT PROTEST GROUPS WORK - The purpose of this letter is not to argue the pros and cons of fox hunting. It is about the power of the pressure group. Colin Rose, (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 18.9.04 VIOLENT NATURE VISIBLE In relation to recent topical subjects of law and order, anti-social behaviour and violence, the actions of the pro-hunting lobby in Whitehall exposes the criminally violent nature of many people in our society…. The ban on hunting by dogs is the single most important act to come out of Parliament for centuries…. K WILLCOCKS, Balland Park, Ashburton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.04 HUNT BOTCH IS ANOTHER FINE MESS FOR TONY BLAIR - I don't usually write attacking Tony Blair, but the recent fox-hunting botch looks like another of his finest messes, pleasing no one except the useful idiots on the Labour backbenches. If Blair wants to deliver on the £1m-plus donated by animal welfare lobbies, he should end the cruelty of intensive, factory farming. Yet the man who often condemns gesture politics as futile is now busily railroading through Parliament a Bill that is nothing but a symbolic gesture…. Richard Burch, Bridge Court, Exe Street, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.04 GOVERNMENT MUST FIND COMPROMISE ON HUNTING - Here we go again. Another badly thought-out piece of legislation has divided the nation. Terrible scenes of the man in the street against the forces of law were beamed into our front rooms as fighting broke out near the Houses of Parliament as banning hunting with hounds was debated by MPs… Like the miners and poll tax protesters, many huntsmen and women are saying they will break the law when the Act comes in. That in itself shows the strength of feeling in the countryside. Far better for Parliament to find a compromise now than risk the injuring of huntsmen and women and our over-stretched police force in the future…. Colin Richey, Lazenby Road, Tiverton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.04 PROTESTERS ARE RUNNING THE RISK OF GETTING SHOT - We have had people dressing-up as superheros, standing on bridges and causing disruption to traffic over a cause. We have the same taking over part of Buckingham Palace, then they throw condoms full of purple powder at the Prime Minister. Then we have other people taking over the floor of Parliament…. I hope that any military personnel are absolved of any blame of causing the death of the demonstrator because they would have been doing their duty, protecting the realm…. Mr T A Griffin, Salmon Pool Lane, St Leonard's, Exeter (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.9.04 BAN IS ALL ABOUT SNOBBERY … How strange that the Government is quite prepared for a fox to die in agony hours or days after being shot, yet will not permit it to die within minutes when caught by the hounds…. Andrew Coppin, Whitby Drive, Grimsby (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 18.9.04 BAN BASED ON 'PREJUDICE AND DISLIKE, AND NOT FACT' - Mr Bill Cunnington (Letters, August 28) believes hunting is cruel. He is entitled to his views and well done to him for being bothered enough to voice them when so many are apathetic. However, the "countryside to town" event misinformed no one. The campaign is indeed to save hunting from a ban based only on dislike and prejudice rather than on facts…. Shame upon a society that lets this happen as who knows where the banning will end? JEREMY ADDISON Woodthorpe Court Nottingham (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 18.9.04 LABOUR HAS THE MANDATE - I feel very sorry for Mark Jenkins of Retford (Post, September 16), being unable to vote Labour over the issue of hunting with dogs. I am not going to get into the pros or cons of that debate…. The issue of banning hunting with dogs has been a Labour Party manifesto pledge at two elections. Two election victories for Labour have given the Government the right to introduce a Bill because that is what the majority people of this country wants…. TREVOR CAST (Coun) Long Lane Attenborough (letter)


East Anglian Daily Times 17.9.04 Rural yobs end Westminster freedom - EADT Political Editor Graham Dines looks at the ramifications of the hunt supporters' invasion of the Palace of Westminster. IT may seem funny to the general public – the poor dears in the House of Commons, the beating heart of our democracy, can't even defend themselves from a few determined rural thugs demonstrating against plans to ban hunting and coursing… If democracy means anything, elected MPs have the right to pass legislation. If it is unpopular, they are accountable to their electors at the ballot box…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 17.9.04 MP'S ENCOUNTER WITH 'INVADERS' - A North Lincolnshire MP bumped into five hunt supporters as she left an important committee meeting - just moments before they stormed the Commons chamber. Last night Labour MP Shona McIsaac spoke for the first time about how she came across the men, who had allegedly disguised themselves as workmen… "We were told the demonstration was to be peaceful," Ms McIsaac said. But I thought with the amount of alcohol that was being drunk it was bound to ignite…" (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 17.9.04 'WE WERE VICTIMS AND DEFENCELESS' - On Wednesday, the Houses of Parliament witnessed some of the most dramatic scenes in recent history, as MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs…. It all started as a day of peaceful protest, as pro-hunt supporters from across the country converged on the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday to voice their opposition to a ban on hunting with dogs. But the images that greeted us on the evening news that night appeared to be far from peaceful. There were shots of the police wielding batons in Parliament Square as they tried to keep back an angry crowd, while blood-spattered victims were led away to waiting ambulances…. Kay Chapman, the regional director for the Countryside Alliance, the pro-hunt group which organised the rally, had travelled from her Derbyshire home to act as a steward… "We were there to help the police and we basically ended up doing their job for them," said Kay, of Tideswell…" Watching on was Nigel Cox (51), huntsman for the High Peak Hunt…. "We were defenceless," said Nigel. "Those people who did retaliate were provoked. We're not thugs, we're people who are at end of our tether. I condemn that sort of violence - but I stand to lose everything, my job and my home. To my mind that's a cause that's worth fighting for."… (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.9.04 TOWN AND COUNTRY BLAIR'S CONTEMPT FOR RURAL BRITAIN - TONY BLAIR chose to skulk in Downing Street this week while all hell broke loose outside Parliament and the Commons chamber was invaded. Of course, the Prime Minister's contempt for the institution of Parliament is as well-known as his indifference towards the fate of that other hallowed British tradition, fox- hunting…. The pro-hunting lobby has always been predominantly law-abiding, although for some time now there has been a minority which, having grown impatient with the Countryside Alliance, has favoured more radical methods of protest, including criminal damage. The CA has worked hard to keep these elements in check and to reach a negotiated agreement with the Prime Minister on the future of hunting. In return, Mr Blair has let the Alliance down, preferring to turn his back on any notion of hunting continuing under licence and to bow to the pressure of his backbenchers. But by refusing to deal with the law-abiding majority, the Prime Minister has effectively played into the hands of that minority within the hunting lobby who favour direct action…. (story)

Derbyshire Times 17.9.04 FLAMES OF FURY - Furious campaigners lit up the Derbyshire countryside with an enormous fire as part of protests against Government plans to ban fox hunting…. Barlow Hunt joint-master Steve Clark said: "There is a prejudice and bigotry being shown by a government that is prepared to push through a ban in just one day without full consideration…." (story)

Ledbury Reporter 17.9.04 Huntsman storms commons - Three Ledbury Hunt supporters were among five men who invaded the floor of the House of Commons during the Hunting Bill debate on Wednesday…. (story in archive)

Rutland Times 17.9.04 - A Cottesmore Hunt supporter has vowed to go to jail rather than accept a Government ban on foxhunting. Philippa Mayo, who attended Wednesday's protests by up to 15,000 pro-hunt campaigners in Parliament Square, said: 'I have a genuine feeling of anger. This vote is grossly unjust and I am quite prepared to carry on hunting even if I face imprisonment…. (story)

Worksop Guardian 17.9.04 PROTESTORS ATTACK AS MP VOTES ON - BASSETLAW MP John Mann has slammed pro-hunting protesters who stormed the House of Commons and attacked Parliament…. Huntsman Roderick Duncan, of the local Grove and Rufford Hunt, met Mr Mann in London before he voted. "Being employed by the hunt, I'm totally opposed to the Bill. It's a direct threat to my livelihood," he said… (story)

Stratford Herald 17.9.04 Local hunt in full cry at Parliament - BOTTLES were thrown and police batons drawn in violent clashes between hunt supporters and riot police in Parliament Square last night (Wednesday) as MPs voted on the Bill to ban hunting with dogs… From the Warwickshire Hunt, Charlotte Brook, of Bishops Itchington, said: ÒIÕm here because I feel passionately that the British countryside should be preserved. A ban on hunting would totally change the countryside as we know it…" (story may only be on website for a week)

Sky 17.9.04 THE FOX HUNTING FILLY - Hunt protester Gemma Richards has gone topless in a national newspaper to promote her cause…. the South Shropshire Hunt worker decided to pose topless in the Daily Star on Friday to draw more attention to the pro-hunt case…. (story)

Guardian 17.9.04 Not civil war but treason - That the left pokes rich landowners while tolerating poverty is a sign of our politically decadent times - Polly Toynbee - Civil War! proclaimed the Daily Mail in mile-high headlines. No, this was class war. The young toff yobs who invaded the Commons belong to the princes' party… This was treason. The royal party and the lords - aided by a bit of feudal muscle from their hunt servants - were usurping the people's democracy…. How pleasurable was the shock of the ruling classes finding the police not forelock-tugging to them for once: "I do not have a high opinion of our dear police," said a shocked "respectable country solicitor", according to Moore out there in the melee where he found "shaven heads, tattoos and rough tongues" mixed with marquesses…. Sadly, this preposterous waste of political energy will drag on and on, because this time their indignation is justified. Although they rail in vain against their waning power, they have every right to feel aggrieved at this assault on their relatively harmless if distasteful pleasures…. The Parliament Act now might be used for similar historic acts - for imposing land taxes to capture the vast untaxed wealth of soaring property values or for windfalling the City fat cats' obscene greed. Instead history will record years of discord over a rural absurdity that will make us the laughing stock of the world. What was Labour's enduring battle? Not taxes but foxes. (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 17.9.04 Burning with fury over ban - IN a week which saw protesters stage a dramatic raid on the Hous e of Commons, pro-hunt campaigners lit up the sky near Harrogate this week with a massive burning message to the government…. (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 17.9.04 Local hunt supporters join in protests - HUNT supporters from our area travelled down to London to protest this week but MPs still voted overwhelmingly to ban the sport on Wednesday…. Master and huntsman of West of Yore Hunt, Tim Easby, who was among the protesters outside the Commons, said he believes the hunting ban is not an animal welfare issue but about politicians' prejudice and meddling in something they do not understand… Charles Frampton, master and huntsman of Bedale Hunt, who was also at the protest, said that the hunting fraternity would not give up fighting the ban…. (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 17.9.04 Hunts say this is just the start - HUNT supporters across the area are gearing up for their next protest at the Labour Party conference, following this week's vote in the House of Comnmons to ban hunting with dogs… Kennel huntsman for Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt, Gary Thorp, was one of around 10,000 hunt supporters who swarmed the House of Commons with banners while inside MPs voted on mass to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)

Bury Times 17.9.04 Hunt ban to hit historic 'way of life' - A VOTE to outlaw hunting with hounds may spell the end for the country's oldest hunt. Members of the Holcombe Hunt -- which dates back to 1304 -- say that any outright ban will mean the end of a whole way of life… (story in archive)

Malvern Gazette 17.9.04 Huntsman out foxes Commons security - Three Ledbury Hunt supporters were among five men who invaded the floor of the House of Commons during the Hunting Bill debate on Wednesday. The three, all arrested, were professional huntsman John Holliday, the hunt's former whipper-in Andrew Elliot and supporter David Redvers…. (story in archive)

Newark Advertiser 17.9.04 Set to defy hunt ban By SHARON HODKIN - Supporters say they will try to continue foxhunting despite Wednesday's Parliamentary vote to ban the sport…. Among those at Wednesday's demonstration were members of the South Notts Hunt…. Mr Tim Rogers, the master and huntsman of the Per Ardua Beagles, which hunts in villages around Bingham, also said its followers would try to defy the ban…. Members of the Grove and Rufford Hunt were not available for comment yesterday but a number of their representatives travelled to London… (story probably only on website for a week)

Argus 17.9.04 Hunting supporter bloodied but unbowed by Lilly Peel - Hunting supporter Stephen Mockford has told how his head was smashed by police batons during a protest… Mr Mockford, who follows the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, said: "It was a bit of a confrontational situation. there was a lot of people there and a police barrier across the road…." (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 17.9.04 HUNT DISMAY OVER BAN VOTE - THE VOTE this week to ban hunting with dogs has been met with anger and dismay by Bicester Hunt members in the county… Bicester Hunt secretary Robert Vallance said that if the Parliament Act was enforced they would challenge it on a legal basis…. But Oxford city co-ordinator for the League Against Cruel Sports Maureen Noble said she was 'over the moon' with the Government's action…. (story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 17.9.04 Followers look for loophole to carry on hunting - FOX HUNTERS in West Cumbria hope to find a loophole in any law banning the sport so that the tradition can continue…. Barry Todhunter, 48, from Threlkeld, has been huntsman to the Blencathra Hunt for 34 years and said the proposed ban was petty and vindictive…. Mr Todhunter’s whole family’s livelihood depends on hunting, including daughter Diane, who is groom to the Haydon Hunt…. Master of the Melbreak Hunt, John Vickers, said hunters in the area will do everything they can to find a way round the law… (story)
West Cumberland Times & Star 17.9.04 Genocide, terrorists - and they’re worried about hunting? THREE Britons abducted in Iraq, the continuing threat from terrorism and genocide in Sudan: yet the Government’s priority this week was much closer to home. It decided to push through its anti-hunting bill using the Parliament Act used previously in times of constitutional crisis… The few dozen farmers who stomp the Cumbrian fells in mid winter following the Melbreak and Blencathra packs must feel like they’re lost in an alien land. The consequences of this ban are costly. We’ve already seen the police cost in Parliament Square, and this will mount as protests swell and the ban itself is enforced…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 17.9.04 Huntsmen to carry on the fight By Jennie Dennett - Skirmishes during Wednesday's bloody pro-hunting demonstration have been overblown and police were partly to blame for over-reacting, a Lake District huntsman said this week. Alison Bolt, of the North Lonsdale Foxhounds, was among 49 hunting supporters from South Cumbria who joined the mass rally outside Westminster as MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting with dogs…. Fellow protester Neil Salisbury, of the Coniston Foxhounds, similarly stressed that most of the day of action had been law-abiding, with celebrities and MPs addressing the crowds…. (story)

Keighley News 17.9.04 Commons protest harmed pro-hunt campaign by Clive White - Mother of three Karen Robinson, kennelsman for the Airedale Beagles, based in Silsden, was among thousands of pro-hunters amassed in Parliament Square on Wednesday… She said: "I left before the trouble started. I could see it brewing. I got a sense it could get worse. It was very tense. It was not like other demonstrations I have been on before."…. (story in archive)

Somerset County Gazette 17.9.04 Hunting - violence marks ban - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters from Taunton Deane and West Somerset travelled to London on Wednesday to join the mass demonstration outside the House of Commons as MPs debated the controversial hunting Bill. MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs despite the debate being interrupted by protesters who broke into the Commons…. (story in archive)
Somerset County Gazette 17.9.04 Exmoor slams hunt ban vote - EXMOOR National Park Authority has voiced its alarm at Wednesday's vote by MPs in the House of Commons to ban hunting with dogs. It says that no consideration has been given to how red deer on the moor will be managed in the future, and how the local economy will be helped to recover. (story in archive)

Isle of Wight County Press 17.9.04 HUNTSMAN HURT AT LONDON DEMO By Gavin Foster and Martin Neville - THE IW HUNT was literally left bloodied but unbowed by Wednesday's historic parliamentary move to ban their sport. As it pledged to defy the law, should it become that, by continuing to meet, the IW Hunt's kennel huntsman Stuart Trousdale was sporting the wound he said was caused by policemen indiscriminately hitting out at protesters…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.9.04 Hunt protest fears scupper event - Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael has pulled out of a march to mark the start of the Right to Roam because of fears he may be targeted by hunt protesters…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.9.04 Commons invader denies inside job - One of the hunt supporters who invaded the House of Commons has denied the group were aided by an insider. David Redvers, 34, was one of eight men arrested after Wednesday's protest, although he was not one of the five who managed to enter the Commons chamber…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.9.04 Do protests work? By Jennifer Quinn - The images are moving, or disturbing, or enraging; the issues run across the political spectrum. When thousands of people protested against a ban on foxhunting - and five of their comrades stormed the floor of the House of Commons - the images were arresting. But was their point made?... (story)

Times 17.9.04 Hunt ban - Police were told twice about the intrusion BY DAVID CHARTER AND ADAM SHERWIN - POLICE were warned twice about the suspicious behaviour of one of the Commons intruders before they burst into the chamber, an MP said yesterday…. A guest of Paul Keetch, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, recognised one of the hunt supporters disguised as a builder inside the police security cordon. The hunt supporter was one of those who later ran into the chamber…. (story)
Times 17.9.04 Hunt ban - 'Mole' showed invaders maps of Commons BY STEVE BIRD - THE eight pro-hunting demonstrators who stormed the House of Commons were being questioned by detectives last night to find out who had helped them to infiltrate the Palace of Westminster’s tight security…. Among those arrested is Otis Ferry, the 21-year-old son of the rock star Bryan Ferry, who is joint master of the South Shropshire hunt…. The others are John Holliday, a huntsman from Ledbury; David Redvers, a stud owner at Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Robert Thame, a polo player; Andrew Elliot; Nick Wood and the point-to-point jockey Richard Wakeham…. (story)
Times 17.9.04 Hunt ban - Hunt protesters to dog minister roaming hills - BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A LANDMARK event this weekend to celebrate the introduction of new right-to-roam laws in England is to be hijacked by hunt protests in the next display of the countryside in rebellion. Large crowds of hunt supporters and workers are now expected to join Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, on his high-profile walks in the Bowland Forest in Lancashire and in the Peak District of Derbyshire on Sunday…. Lindsay Hill, spokeswoman for the Union of Country Sports Workers, said: “I think the war has now started and what happened in London was the first battle…. (story)
Times 17.9.04 Hunt ban - Parties 'could adopt direct action tactics' BY ADAM SHERWIN, MEDIA REPORTER - DIRECT action has become the only outlet for groups who have lost faith in the political process, says Lord Bell, the public relations adviser…. (story)
Times 17.9.04 The moment that the town took over - SIMON JENKINS - The countryside lobby is going to have to learn to love its new master — urban man … Banning hunting on Exmoor, I am told, is like banning football in Liverpool. Forget the ethics, a sensible politician does not do it. No more does he ban bullfighting in Spain, foie gras in France or assault rifles in Oklahoma. Yet hunting is to be banned… I always defend the freedom of minorities to enjoy pleasures that are harmless to others, be they smoking, drug-taking, pornography or foxhunting. I may not like them but that is not the point. Yet on hunting the libertarians have lost. Rural Britain is being refashioned on urban terms. The public wants to enjoy the sort of countryside it feels it has sustained for long enough to call partly its own…. On Wednesday the country lobby went to Westminster and met its Waterloo. It must now pay homage to a new master. For its own survival it must learn to love its enemy (story)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Hain goes hunting for scapegoat By George Jones, John Steele and Brendan Carlin - Police chiefs joined the Government last night in demanding radical reform of the "antiquated" security of the House of Commons to enable it to cope with the "age of the suicide terrorist"…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Country people have been thrown to the dogs - When the most serious breach of parliamentary security in modern history took place on Wednesday, it was noted that the invaders had come within inches of where Tony Blair had been sitting "four hours earlier". That he was no longer sitting in that spot was presumably no coincidence. Neither the Prime Minister nor any other major Cabinet figure - including the Chancellor, the Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary - felt obliged even to appear at the debate, let alone vote in the division, on the foxhunting ban. The Conservatives have described this tactical absence as "cynical", but a more apt word might be "cowardly"…. This misadventure goes to the heart of Blairite government: exclusively metropolitan in perspective, obsessed with making headlines, prone to ruthless bullying to get its way - and ultimately cowardly when it comes to accepting the consequences of its own actions. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Otis's lunch puts the Commons invasion in its proper light By Tom Utley - It was Lucy Ferry who made me realise whose side I was on after the invasion of the Commons on Wednesday afternoon…. Until I read her comment in yesterday's paper, I was in two minds about what to think. The pompous ass in me agreed with David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, when he said: "We have witnessed the most disgraceful act of hooliganism in years directed against members of this chamber. It was a breach of privilege, first and foremost."… "I am very proud of what he has done today," she said. "I just hope he has had something to eat." Suddenly I saw the whole protest in perspective. Mrs Ferry's was the authentic voice of the England that I love: tolerant, humorous, good-natured and down-to-earth. How ridiculously pompous she made Sir Stuart Bell sound… It is only when a seemingly footling issue such as foxhunting comes up that I remember how utterly alien these people are to everything that I hold dear about Britain…. It is only when a seemingly footling issue such as foxhunting comes up that I remember how utterly alien these people are to everything that I hold dear about Britain. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 The middle classes have had enough By Alice Thomson - At first I tried to keep a straight face. This was a serious breach of security…. It was totally irresponsible of the hunting fraternity…. But as I watched Otis Ferry sprint across the chamber, pursued by men in frock coats, I couldn't help smiling. Why shouldn't they make their point? It was outrageous that the Commons was virtually empty as this crucial assault on liberty was being rammed through all its stages in one day. It was even more appalling that Tony Blair couldn't be bothered to vote…. One of the protesters in the chamber summed it up. "You've mucked up pensions, you've mucked up everything," he shouted. It's easy for Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, to suggest: "If you don't like this, don't vote for us." But voters don't yet see an alternative… (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Peers will hold their fire to avoid Blair trap By George Jones, Political Editor - The Hunting Bill was given an unopposed first reading in the House of Lords yesterday. In accordance with tradition, there was no discussion. Peers will debate the Bill's second reading on Oct 12, when Parliament resumes after a break for the party conference… Tory sources said they did not intend to "walk into a trap" set by the Government of acting unreasonably and wrecking Labour's legislative programme over the issue. It is more likely that the Lords will amend the Bill to reintroduce a licensing system to allow hunting with dogs where it could be shown to be the most efficient and least cruel method of pest control…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Now they want to ban the ancient pursuit of MPs - Another grand old British sport came under threat yesterday as Labour MPs called for an immediate ban on the hunting of themselves. They said acute mental distress had been inflicted on them when they found themselves hunted by five young men who ran into the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 How the MPs voted (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Right to roam will be the next flashpoint By Charles Clover - National celebrations of the new right to roam planned by the Government for this weekend will be disrupted by pro-hunting demonstrations, landowners' leaders said yesterday. The conjunction within a week of the vote to ban hunting and the opening of the first two areas where the right to public access will apply set a new tone of "intolerance" towards the countryside which was likely to be resented, they warned…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Watchdog will investigate 20 complaints against the Met By John Steele Home, Affairs Correspondent - At least 20 complaints from alleged victims of police violence during the protest are being investigated by the independent police complaints body…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 BBC defends failure to pass on invasion tip-off By Tom Leonard, Media Editor - The BBC rejected accusations yesterday that it had been "culpable" for not preventing the Commons invasion after it failed to pass on a tip-off about the stunt to police…. (story)
Telegraph 17.9.04 Press divided over clashes By Tom Leonard (story)

Guardian 17.9.04 Police ignored three warnings - Patrick Wintour and Michael White - The cabinet yesterday backed a complete overhaul of security at Westminster to update "antiquated" protection arrangements, as police confirmed they had ignored three warnings that foxhunting militants disguised as building workers were seeking to penetrate the Commons' chamber. The protesters were bailed early this morning pending further inquiries and are due to return to a central London police station next month…. MPs are bitterly divided over the hunting bill, passed overwhelmingly again by the Commons and now due to be tack led by the Lords next month. Some are also angry with what Tory Alan Duncan called the "lippy, surly, provocative and menacing" way the police handled the pro-hunt demonstration. Sir Nicholas Winterton called the police tactics "horrific"…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 How Commons invader tipped off BBC - Journalists under fire for not telling authorities - and for missing a scoop - after son of rock star gave reporter details of stunt - Matt Wells, media correspondent - Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan Ferry and one of the prime movers behind the plot to storm the House of Commons, telephoned a BBC reporter to give notice of the imminent stunt…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 Parliament crackdown signalled as police deny assault complaints - Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent - Sir John Stevens, the Met police commissioner, yesterday rejected suggestions that his officers had been heavy-handed during the pro-hunting protest in Parliament Square. "No one got cracked over the head for no reason," he said…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 Security crackdown likely as hunt starts for 'insider' who aided protest - Patrick Wintour and Michael White - The hunt was on yesterday for the parliamentary insider believed to have helped hunt protesters penetrate the heart of the House of Commons…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 Fears that militants will break ranks - Peter Hetherington - Hunt supporters are planning a fresh wave of protests at Labour's annual conference in 10 days' time, with the likelihood of thousands taking to the streets of Brighton and the prospect of militant elements breaking ranks to carry out more direct action over the coming days…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 Young and well-heeled rebels with a cause - Patrick Barkham - As protesters gathered outside Charing Cross police station last night and voiced their support for the eight men who stormed the House of Commons, the focus invariably fell on one member of the youthful and wealthy group. Otis Ferry, the 21-year-old son of the musician Bryan Ferry, is the new poster boy of the pro-hunt movement after he and the equally well-connected professional polo player Luke Tomlinson, 26, successfully carried out the most serious breach of parliamentary security in living memory…. A stalwart of the Beaufort hunt who lives on his family's estate one mile from Prince Charles's Highgrove in Gloucestershire, Mr Tomlinson is a good friend of princes William and Harry, and considered a steadying influence on the princes…. (story)
Guardian 17.9.04 Speaking for England? - Mark Simmons, identified in the Daily Telegraph only as "a former head boy of a minor public school", gave voice to a classic English conservative justification for this week's violent hunting protest. "We are slow to rile," he told the paper's reporter, "but by God, when we get going there is no stopping us."… sentiments like those of Mr Simmons are a reminder that, in many eyes, the battle over hunting is about something larger and more lasting than the right to ride to hounds. In that light, it is odd that Tony Blair, who has been so successful in the past in understanding what animates Middle Britain, should have been so willing to defy the hunters… sentiments like those of Mr Simmons are a reminder that, in many eyes, the battle over hunting is about something larger and more lasting than the right to ride to hounds. In that light, it is odd that Tony Blair, who has been so successful in the past in understanding what animates Middle Britain, should have been so willing to defy the hunters… It remains to be seen if this is his poll tax moment. Don't rule it out. (story)

Independent 17.9.04 Royal links of the Commons invaders By Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent - Two of the eight men believed to have stormed the House of Commons during the pro-hunt protests on Wednesday are close friends of the Prince of Wales and his sons…. (story)
Independent 17.9.04 So who were the people in those news pictures? Just everyday country folk... KATE LOVELACE, Racehorse insurer in Wiltshire One of the female protesters caught in Wednesday's violence, Ms Lovelace, 28, was recovering yesterday after receiving stitches to her lip after, she claims, being hit in face by a truncheon…. Ms Lovelace, who is Secretary of the South Dorset Hunt Supporters Club, has been involved in hunts all of her life and said the ban will damage her work… DANIEL MaCARTHY, Hunt servant in Dorset - Mr MaCarthy, who has been with the Portman Hunt all his life, said: "I was standing at the front. It was all quiet and calm and I wasn't saying or doing anything. Suddenly one of the officers struck me across the forehead with his baton…." JANE THORPE-CODMAN, Housewife from Peterborough … Mrs Thorpe-Codman, who has been hunting for 13 years with the Fitzwilliam Hunt, said of the attack: "I turned around, I wasn't threatening, waving a banner, shouting or anything. I had no interest in getting into a fight with a policeman."… BRIAN PERRY, Worcestershire farmer… r Perry claims he was struck on the back of his head three times by police truncheons as he tried to help a young girl on the ground…. r Perry claims he was struck on the back of his head three times by police truncheons as he tried to help a young girl on the ground…. (story)
Independent 17.9.04 Hunt supporters target Hoon's office By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor - Police security surrounding MPs' offices was stepped up last night after Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, was warned his constituency office would be attacked by hunt supporters…. (story)
Independent 17.9.04 The Commons Eight: polo colleagues and hunt friends By Maxine Frith and Ciar Byrne (story)
Independent 17.9.04 Ann Widdecombe: We have witnessed a triumph of democracy - A practice is either cruel or it is not, and it if is, then we should outlaw it… (story)

Daily Mail 17.9.04 Pro-hunt Commons raiders bailed - Eight pro-hunt protesters arrested after storming the House of Commons chamber have been released on bail pending further inquiries, police said…. (story)

Mirror 17.9.04 TOP COP: TOFFS DESERVED IT Exclusive By Bob Roberts Deputy Political Editor - BRITAIN'S top policeman yesterday said pro-hunt protesters who were battered by officers with riot sticks only had themselves to blame. Sir John Stevens claimed thugs in the crowd got what they deserved after attacking his men and trying to storm into the Commons…. (story)
Mirror 17.9.04 COMMONS INVADERS TO GET OFF By Gary Jones And Richard Smith - EIGHT protesters who stormed the Commons may escape with a caution, fine or even without facing charges, lawyers claimed yesterday…. (story)

Mirror 17.9.04 LAST BASTION OF TORY ARROGANCE By Ros Wynne-Jones - THE hunt debate over the past two days has been full of lofty ideals - talk of democracy, of minority rights, of the ancient ways of the countryside, even of a "civil war" between town and country…. These are the protesters who took to their tractors for the fuel blockade, who were happy for vital operations to be cancelled in NHS hospitals knowing they never need to use the state healthcare system. The same privileged toffs who hate everything that Labour stands for on equality of opportunity, on redistribution of wealth…. These are Thatcher's Farmers - the last bastion of Tory arrogance and intolerance, who believe that wealth and privilege is a birthright… The Countryside Alliance needs the working classes to be the acceptable face of their unpalatable movement. This is as cynical as using them on the front line to take the full force of the riot police's truncheons. (How many of those treated in ambulances were landed gentry?)… (story)

Shropshire Star 17.9.04 Foxy Gemma whips up a storm - Shropshire's Gemma Richards today uncovered her latest ploy to promote the pro-hunting cause - by appearing on Page 3 of The Sun…. (story)
Shropshire Star 17.9.04 Hunting eight walk free amid revelations - Shropshire hunt master Otis Ferry and his band of protesters walked free from jail today as fresh revelations came to light about the sorry state of parliamentary security. In the early hours of the morning, the 21-year-old South Shropshire hunt leader and seven other pro-hunt campaigners were released without charge and bailed pending further inquiries. The eight men included Ferry, former Shrewsbury School pupil and amateur jockey Richard Wakeham, 34, Ledbury hunt members David Redvers, 34, John Holliday, 37, and Andrew Elliott, 42, and Luke Tomlinson, 27, an Eton-educated polo player and friend of Princes Harry and William… (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.9.04 I'M PROUD MY SON INVADED COMMONS - Kate O'Hara - ONE of the pro-hunt protesters last night in custody after Wednesday's invasion of the House of Commons is a member of an aristocratic Yorkshire family. Point-to-point jockey Richard Wakeham, 36, is the cousin of Nick Lane Fox, the current occupant of Bramham Park. His parents Antony and Marcia Wakeham have a home on the Bramham estate…. A friend of Mr Wakeham, Charles Gundry, master of the Middleton Hunt, said his actions were "out of character" (story)

Leicester Mercury 17.9.04 WE ARE MORE MILITANT, SAY DEFIANT HUNTSMEN BY TOM MACK - Defiant huntsmen are riding out in force as supporters predict more militant campaigning to save their way of life. Looking unfazed by this week's House of Commons vote to ban hunting, members of Atherstone Hunt were out at the break of dawn yesterday, combing the fields around Ashby for their quarry…. The county's other hunts, the Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie and Quorn hunts, are all carrying on as usual with their regular hunts… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 17.9.04 MP 'NOT INVOLVED' IN PROTEST - Lincolnshire Mp Sir Peter Tapsell last night firmly denied inviting rogue hunt protesters who stormed the debating chamber into the House of Commons…. (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 17.9.04 Hunts'defiance - PRO-HUNT groups in Northamptonshire have pledged to defy an anti-fox hunting ban which would turn the centuries-old rural pursuit into a crime. Members of the Pytchley and Grafton hunts have signed a Hunting Declaration which states that they will not comply with unjustified law to abolish hunting with hounds…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 17.9.04 EMMA, 9 IN HUNTING APPEAL TO BLAIR - She is only nine years old. But Emma Phillips was so shocked by scenes unfolding outside the House of Commons, she has written to the Prime Minister to take him to task…. Emma, from Bloomfield Road in Bath, who still hopes to take part in a hunt one day, was glued to the rally on TV and was so upset by images of bloody protesters, she put pen to paper… (story)
Bath Chronicle 17.9.04 THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN, MR BLAIR - After seeing the horrors of today's intended peaceful and law-abiding demonstration by the Countryside Alliance on the television news on Wednesday, I was determined to write a letter. However, I was beaten to it by my daughter just turned nine. I therefore enclose a copy of her letter to Tony Blair for you to, hopefully, print…. She has also lost all faith in the "friendly British policeman." MRS SARAH PHILLIPS, Bloomfield Road, Bath
DEAR Tony Blair - You have no right to let the police hit people with iron bars. It is horrible disgusting, mad and disloyal to the country… EMMA PHILLIP ( 9), Bloomfield Road, Bath, Somerset, England (letters)

Bath Chronicle 17.9.04 POLL VOTERS AGAINST FOX HUNTING BAN - People from the Bath area voting in an electronic poll on Government plans to outlaw fox hunting have come out against a ban. The survey, carried out on the Chronicle website, showed visitors to the site were 83 to 39 against the ban… The Countryside Alliance claims 20,000 people took to the streets outside Parliament, among them gamekeeper Tom Filler, who works at the Neston Park Estate, near Corsham. He claims he was repeatedly hit over the head by a policeman wielding a truncheon as violence erupted during the demonstration…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.9.04 HUNTSMEN PLEDGE: OUR FIGHT GOES ON - Devon huntsmen are vowing to fight on, despite the overwhelming Commons vote to ban hunting with dogs. Michael Moore, of the East Devon Hunt, said he was still hopeful of overturning the ban after returning from yesterday's stormy protests outside Parliament…. Bob Venner, chairman of Tiverton Staghounds, said: "We will continue fighting, we're not beaten yet… (story)

Scotsman 17.9.04 Westminster protests to be banned after fox hunt clashes - JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - PUBLIC protests outside the Westminster parliament will be banned by security chiefs determined to avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s bloody clashes between police and pro-hunting protesters. Vivid pictures of blood-stained campaigners were splashed across yesterday’s newspapers, leaving ministers concerned about a possible backlash from rural voters at next year’s election…. (story)
Scotsman 17.9.04 BBC refused to act after protester tipped off reporter - FRASER NELSON POLITICAL EDITOR - THE BBC was facing a fresh stand-off with the government yesterday after admitting it had been told about the planned protest in the Commons but refused to act…. (story)
Scotsman 17.9.04 Frustration behind the new politics of anger - BILL JAMIESON - WESTMINSTER, Buckingham Palace and Holyrood: three high-profile national institutions that claimed to have high-level security in place, and in just one week security has been breached in all three in a farcical and humiliating manner…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.9.04 SHAMBOLIC - Police at the House of Commons were warned three times about the invasion of pro-hunters even as it was taking place - and did absolutely nothing to stop the outrageous breach of security, a West MP claimed yesterday… (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.04 DO WE FACE ANARCHY? - The violence in Westminster this week signalled the emergence of a sinister new force in the campaign against the ban on hunting, it was claimed last night. A hard core group of extremists calling themselves The Real Countryside Alliance or Real CA are believed to have been involved in the violent scenes outside the House of Commons. And many claim the secretive organisation is now preparing to launch a campaign of direct action targeting water supplies, communications, transport networks and individual politicians…. Commentators say protesters such as Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan, represent the new mood of militancy in hunting…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.04 POLICE IGNORED 3 SECURITY WARNINGS (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.04 FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES FOR COMMONS PLOTTERS - Boasting a rock star's son and a close friend of the Royal Family, the band of plotters who stormed the House of Commons on Wednesday were already well-known among Britain's highest circles. But yesterday they were also household names across the UK, as pro-hunt supporters heralded them as the heroes of their cause…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.9.04 PRINCE WILL'S WORK EXPERIENCE AT POLO PAL LUKE'S FAMILY FARM - The family of Luke Tomlinson is so close to the royals that Prince William undertook work experience on their farm. The 27-year-old lives on his family's estate near Tetbury, Gloucestershire - less than a mile from Prince Charles's Highgrove home…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.9.04 HUNT BATTLE POLICE PROBE - Hunt supporters returned home bloodied but unbowed as an official inquiry was yesterday launched into allegations of police brutality during demonstrations outside Parliament. Many Westcountry hunt supporters were left seething with anger over the conduct of police during Wednesday's protests against the passage of the Hunting Bill through the Commons. Geoffrey Brown, who hunts with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and suffered a head wound during the clashes, said: "If you were stuck in the front three lines during the protest, you just got slaughtered. "The way the police dealt with the situation was pretty unforgiving." … Michael Moore, from the East Devon Hunt, said: "I am sure the sheer size of the police presence played a major part in provoking the trouble later on…." Sally Maynard, from the Axe Vale Hunt in East Devon, was unable to attend the protest because she is pregnant, but said she was "shocked" by the images she saw on television. "Their reaction was completely over the top and they were going face-to-face with peaceful protesters," she said…. David Bateman, joint master of the Dartmouth-based Britannia Beagles, was unable to attend Wednesday's protest because of work commitments. He formed his views from the extensive media coverage, and said: "In my opinion they overreacted. The pictures showed the police whacking people with truncheons. The people were offering little or no resistance." (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 DEFIANT SUPPORTERS VOW TO 'CARRY ON' - Both riders and followers of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds yesterday made a defiant pledge to fight the Government to the bitter end over their right to hunt. "We are not worried about the decision made yesterday. If Mr Blair can have his illegal war in Iraq then we can hunt illegally," hunt member Jim Nancekivell said. "The mood at the meet wasn't any different because we are going to carry on just the same. "… (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 ANTI-HUNT GROUPS CELEBRATE - Hunt supporters who violently clashed with police during Wednesday's Westminster protest were yesterday labelled "enemies of democracy"… Peter Anderson, South West spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said he was happy with the Hunting Bill's progress through Parliament, but described the violence as a "disgrace"… (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 LORDS COULD INFLUENCE OUTCOME OF HUNTING BILL - The Hunting Bill passed to the House of Lords yesterday as it continued its apparently inexorable passage on to the statute books…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 POLICE GIVEN LONGER TO QUESTION COMMONS EIGHT - The eight men being questioned by police after pro-hunt protesters stormed the House of Commons chamber were last night still being held by police. Among those in custody on suspicion of burglary are Otis Ferry, 21-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry, and England polo player Luke Tomlinson, a close friend of Princes William and Harry. The others are believed to be John Holliday, a huntsman from Ledbury, Herefordshire; David Redvers, a stud owner at Hartpury, Glos; Robert Thame, a polo player; Andrew Elliot; Nick Wood, and point-to-point jockey Richard Wakeham… (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 EMMA, 9, SENDS HER PROTEST TO TONY BLAIR - A young girl who enjoys following the East Cornwall Hunt has written an impassioned letter to Tony Blair imploring him to "let the hunt go on". Emma Phillips, nine, was so incensed by violent clashes between pro-hunt protesters and police outside the House of Commons on Wednesday that she wrote directly to the Prime Minister to tell him "I am disgusted"…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 OLYMPIC MEDALLIST WILL DEFY HUNTING BAN - Olympic medal winner Kate Allenby has defiantly vowed to carry on foxhunting and risk being sent to prison. The modern pentathlete, from Tavistock in West Devon, who won a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was one of thousands of protesters who gathered outside the House of Commons on Wednesday as MPs overwhelmingly backed a ban on hunting with hounds. Ms Allenby has insisted that she and members of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt would ignore the law if and when it is introduced…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.9.04 BAN COULD COME BACK TO HAUNT PRIME MINISTER - A hunting ban will resolve one political problem for Tony Blair. But, as London Editor Jason Groves reports, it threatens to create an even bigger political headache for the Prime Minister - TONY Blair may have ducked the Commons vote on the Hunting Bill on Wednesday evening, but hunt supporters are in no doubt that the Prime Minister is the man responsible for pushing through a ban on hunting…. The ban, which now looks certain, will not be the end of the matter, as Mr Blair must be starting to realise. The senior Labour MP Barry Sheerman appeared to recognise this on Wednesday when he warned that the issue would come back to "haunt" the Government and urged his colleagues to step away from the kind of divisiveness sown by Margaret Thatcher over issues like the miners' strike and the Poll Tax…. (story)

Hexham Courant 17.9.04 HUNT BAN FANS FLAMES OF REVOLT - WITH an overwhelming vote on Wednesday in the Commons to ban hunting with dogs, local hunts have taken action to ensure their survival…. On Monday, a huge flaming banner was lit on a field near Rudchester by members of the Tynedale Hunt and the Countryside Alliance, reading “No ban”… (story)

Hexham Courant 17.9.04 DEPUTY PM FACES JEERING PROTESTERS IN CORBRIDGE By WILL GREEN - DEPUTY Prime Minister John Prescott stepped out of his ministerial Jaguar and into a maelstrom of protest in Corbridge, during a visit which was overshadowed by rows over hunting and education. Mr Prescott was at the Corbridge Roman site last Friday as part of a whistle-stop tour of the North-East designed to bring to a close the Government’s campaign to educate voters about a regional assembly…. Pro-hunt campaigner Craig Bell yelled at the minister during the visit: “We will not go away, and we will not surrender.”…. (story)

Cumberland News 17.9.04 FROM HUNTERS TO HUNTED - By Chris Musson - CUMBRIA police have vowed to act “sensitively” to enforce the impending ban on foxhunting which would start in July 2006…. Peter Wybergh, master of the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds hunt at Welton, marched on Parliament Square with thousands of protesters on Wednesday. He said: “Hunting isn’t just a sport, it is a passion. It runs very, very strongly in the blood of many people…." (story)

Cumberland News 17.9.04 JOHN PEEL’S OTHER HONOURABLE TRADITION - JOHN Peel, a commanding but – in global terms – obscure Caldbeck yeoman with a crack pack of hounds, would never have dreamt his name would be immortalised in what was to become the world’s best known hunting song…. (story)

Vale Advertiser 17.9.04 Heavy-handed? By Karen Allen, Vale Advertiser - A PRO-HUNT supporter from the Vale who attended the large-scale protest in London which turned into scenes of violence has criticised the police for the way they handled the event. Ricky Proffitt, of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt, said trouble began because there was not enough room for the number of demonstrators at that part of Parliament Square…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 17.9.04 MP furious at activists' Commons invasion by Caroline Jones, Chester Chronicle Newspapers - ALYN and Deeside MP Mark Tami has slammed protesters who stormed into the House of Commons during a debate on hunting with dogs…. Hundreds of North Wales Huntsmen, Country Alliance and farmers Union of Wales members travelled to London on Wednesday to protest. The Flint and Denbigh Hunt took more than 50 supporters along…. (story)

Dundee Courier 17.9.04 Sadness and anger at ‘political’ hunt ban - The former senior joint master of the Fife Fox Hounds yesterday said he was “very sad and very, very angry” that the Hunting Bill had cleared the House of Commons, paving the way for fox-hunting and hare-coursing to be banned in England and Wales from July 2006. John Gilmour had hoped, at the very worst, the Commons might take a “middle way” and adopt a system like the new laws now operating in Scotland where hounds are still used, but now only to flush foxes to waiting guns…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 17.9.04 USPCA to campaign for hunt ban to be extended By David Gordon - The USPCA today vowed to campaign to extend a hunting ban to Northern Ireland. MPs this week voted to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales, amid stormy scenes both inside and outside Parliament…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 17.9.04 Countryside Alliance will challenge hunting ban By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - FOLLOWERS of the hunt claim at least 1,000 people from Cheshire took part in Wednesday's demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Richard Thomas, joint master of the Cheshire Hunt and chief executive of Chester Racecourse, who says the battle to maintain hunting with hounds is far from over. Mr Thomas was pleased with the level of support in Parliament Square, with 10,000 people turning out on a weekday….(story)

Oxford Mail 17.9.04 Hunt member joined invasion of Commons - One of the hunt protesters arrested on the floor of the House of Commons was a member of the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase. Robert Thame, who is in his 30s, was among the group of about nine men who gained entry to the Commons and the floor of the chamber during the debate on the Hunting Bill on September 15…. (story in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo 17.9.04 NO REGRETS AT HUNTING DEMO - GLOUCESTERSHIRE stud owner David Redvers said today he has no regrets about storming the House of Commons in protest at the Hunting Bill…. David was arrested alongside Otis Ferry, the 21-year-old son of rock star Bryan, and England polo player Luke Tomlinson, a friend of Princes William and Harry who lives near Highgrove…. Valerie Maidment, whose husband Nigel is secretary of Gloucestershire's Beaufort Hunt, said Luke was a committed professional polo player who had worked with horses all his life…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 17.9.04 FOX HUNTING: 'ORDINARY HOUSEWIFE WHO LIKES HUNTING' - A MOTHER-of-two who was injured when a policeman saw "red mist" during the mass pro-hunting melee in London swore today to carry on hunting. Millions of television viewers saw Jane Thorpe-Codman bruised and bleeding after being pushed to the floor by a police officer during violent pro-hunting protests outside Parliament Square…. The 37-year-old housewife, who is a member of the Peterborough-based Fitzwilliam Hunt, was trying to move away from the violent scenes on Wednesday…. MP for Peterborough Helen Clarke has called for violent pro-hunting protesters to be "locked up" after her guests at Westminster were covered in paint on Wednesday…. (story)

Daily Record 17.9.04 HUNT-BAN SCOTS MPS WARNED: GET MINDERS - Anger over threat from protesters By Pippa Crerar - MPs who voted for a ban on fox-hunting have been warned by fanatics --'Get minders'. Several anti--hunt members have received abusive emails with the chilling message they'll need 'all the protection' they can get…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 17.9.04 CUMBRIA POLICE VOW TO ACT 'SENSITIVELY' By Chris Musson - CUMBRIA police have vowed to act “sensitively” to enforce the impending ban on foxhunting which would start in July 2006… Peter Wybergh, master of the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds hunt at Welton, marched on Parliament Square with thousands of protesters on Wednesday… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.9.04 VOTE DIVIDES TOWN AND COUNTRY - After a momentous week in Parliament, the pro-fox hunting lobby is vowing to continue with its favourite past time. But while the now-infamous break-in at the House of Commons chamber has ensured the security issue remains at the top of the news agenda, Post readers have voted by nearly two-to-one to back the politicians who wanted a ban… Many rural regions recorded votes in favour of hunting…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.9.04 'LOOK OF ADRENALINE ON PROTESTER'S FACE' - Notts Mp John Heppell today described the moment protesters broke into the House of Commons while he sat on the Government's front bench… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 17.9.04 I SAW MEN, SAYS RESORT MP - CAROLINE WHEELER - Security officers could have been alerted to Commons-storming hunt protesters by Cleethorpes MP Shona McIsaac. The Labour backbencher spotted five of them as she left an important committee meeting - just minutes before they confronted Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael as part of the biggest security breach known to Westminster. But rather than reporting them to security, she continued on her way - not realising the significance until she saw yesterday's newspapers…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 17.9.04 PROTESTER INJURED IN SKIRMISH - Injured protesting about the bloodsport she adores, Sandi Hall has just one message for a Government intent on stopping hunting with hounds. The demonstrator, who badly twisted and bruised her ankle as the peaceful protest turned into a bloody skirmish, said: "We will carry on hunting. If they make it illegal, I guess that will make me a criminal."… Mrs Hall, who is a member of the South Wold Hunt, was treated at the scene by paramedics, but declined to be taken to hospital… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.9.04 Protesters spark fear of terrorists - NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray has warned suicide terrorists loaded with explosives could breach Parliamentary security and blow up the House of Commons…. Despite sharing the protesters' view that hunting with hounds should not have been banned, Mr Gray distanced himself from their actions…. Jonathan Seed, the master of the Avon Vale Hunt, was also among the protesters in London. He said: "I shall continue to hunt and the 25,000 people with me will be doing the same."… (story in archive)

Western Mail 17.9.04 'Law-abiding people driven to extreme measures' - Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail - JULIAN SALMON, director of the County Landowners Association Wales, said he didn't think the pro-hunting protests inside and outside Parliament had done the country rebels' cause any damage. Likening protesters to archers who had fought in the name of Owain Glyndr for Wales, he said, "It was a high-level prank that achieved the publicity they wanted, although if they were other protesters it could have been rather nasty…." (story)
Western Mail 17.9.04 'Freedom fighters' Duncan Higgitt, The Western Mail - Here is the verdict of four pro-hunt supporters across Wales. Sally Williams reports - THE battle between town and country over hunting is raging more fiercely now than ever before, according to Mair Hughes from Bridgend…. PRO-HUNT Lucy Reed, who stood petrified in the front line of protestors as police rained their batons down on them in Parliament Square, said she would continue her fight - despite the ugly scenes. The wife of John Reed, huntsman of theFlint and Denbigh Hunt at St Asaph said she would not simply stand by as her family lost their livelihood…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 17.9.04 HOME PERIL HUNT PROTESTER RAPS POLICE BY STEVE PEACOCK - South Hams hunt supporters have criticised the police over heavy handed tactics that left one of their members injured during the Parliament Square protest. Some 50 Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers hunt supporters were among the thousands of protesters outside the Houses of Parliament as MPs voted to ban hunting… (story)

Newcastle Journal 17.9.04 'This law will not stop us hunting' By Liz Hands, The Journal - Hunt supporters in the North last night vowed to break the law to continue with their way of life. Their defiant stance came as police in the region warned a ban would be almost impossible to enforce…. "There's a complete underestimation at how determined people are to carry on," said Morpeth Hunt master Michael Jeans last night…. Frank Houghton-Brown, master of Tynedale Hunt, is one of those 60,000 people. He said: "We're not going to start disbanding our hunts…" Hunt master Andrew Gale was in Parliament square with his three-week-old baby and two-year-old daughter when what should have been a peaceful protest turned into a bloody battle with police… "I didn't have a choice but to take them," said Andrew, 38, of Penrith, master of the Haydon Hunt in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 17.9.04 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - Hunting issue part of wider discontent - Anyone who has any understanding of rural issues and how the countryside works will not be surprised that hunt supporters in the North-East were last night openly talking of ignoring the impending ban on fox hunting with dogs…. A great many people who live and work in the countryside resent that and see this as simply another example of voters in rural areas being treated as second class citizens…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 17.9.04 WINDOW OF MP'S OFFICE SMASHED - A window at the constituency office of Stroud's Labour MP David Drew was smashed overnight on Wednesday. Workers at the office in Lansdown believe pro-hunt sympathisers may have been responsible for the damage…. (story)

Irish Examiner 17.9.04 Hunt Saboteurs fights for hunting ban in Ireland By Niamh Nolan - THE Association of Hunt Saboteurs has called on the Government to follow the lead of the British parliament and legislate for a ban on hunting in Ireland…. In the interim, Hunt Saboteurs has proposed an alternative form of hunting, called drag hunting, where the hunt follows a scent but there is no kill… There are five drag hunt groups in Ireland, including the Comeragh Mountains Drag Hunt in Waterford…. (story)

Wiltshire Times 17.9.04 Think before enforcing hunt ban - I AM not a fox hunter, I am however a countryman. I love to see and hear the hunt, as do most rural people. We understand rural sports and we know the reasons for them, hunting is one of those sports which the countryside desperately needs to retain…. R L NICHOLSON, Trowbridge (letter in archive)

Chester Chronicle 17.9.04 SCIENTIFIC research undertaken at the time of the year-long national ban on hunting, during the foot and mouth epidemic in 2000-2001, showed that the ban did not lead to an increase in the fox population… CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Orchard Cottage Brown Heath Rd. Waverton (letter)

Chester Chronicle 17.9.04 READING The Chronicle last week, I was stunned when our local MP said fox-hunting '...tops the league table of concerns...' for the people of Chester. Does she really think we in Chester are more worried about fox-hunting than about the escalating fear of crime and anti-social behaviour that is wrecking so many people's lives?... MARK WILLIAMS Meadow Lane, Huntington Chester (letter)

Anyone can see that the sudden announcement of this week's vote in Parliament on the proposed hunting ban is cynical timing. It seeks to drive a wedge between town and country to satisfy Tony Blair's long since disheartened supporters, a matter of months before a General Election. However, a bill to ban hunting would not get my support even if it was left until after the election. … Cllr D Hames, Parliamentary spokesman, Westbury Liberal Democrats, Holt (letter in archive)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 16.9.04 TIMING OF HUNTING BAN VOTE IS CYNICAL - Anyone can see the sudden announcement of this week's vote in parliament on the proposed hunting ban is cynical timing. It seeks to drive a wedge between town and country to satisfy Tony Blair's long since disheartened supporters, a matter of months before a General Election…. I would have voted against the ban this week, and would do so in the future. CLLR DUNCAN HAMES, (Lib Dem, Holt) Parliamentary Spokesman Westbury Liberal Democrats Holt Trowbridge (letter)

Westmorland Gazette 17.9.04 Hunting is a natural way to kill foxes - For centuries the sheep farmers of the Lake District have used hounds as their main way of keeping the local fox population under control. This is a system that has obviously worked well over the years…. Mr Blair and his minions at DEFRA are either unable or unwilling to give advice on their preferred alternatives of fox control once hunting has been banned. Neil Salisbury Hawkshead Hill (letter)

Newark Advertiser 17.9.04 Hunting fears - I am both angry and distressed at the attitude of the Government over the issue of hunting with hounds. To invoke the Parliament Act and pass a Bill through the House of Commons in but one day of debate is a disgrace and profoundly undemocratic…. This is a very bad time for liberty and democracy - DOUGLAS HOGG, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham. (letter probably only on site for a week)

Malvern Gazette 17.9.04 All threatened - WHETHER or not you support hunting and the benefits to the countryside, or if you see it as archaic and anachronistic has little to do with the debate on hunting. What may people across the spectrum are failing to recognise is the huge impact on civil liberties that this and other similar acts will have on everyone's lives. At the moment, the hunting debate looks lost. They will then move on to shooting, fishing and then other less contentious hobbies that form an enjoyable part of everyone's lives… BRUCE GILBERT, vice-chairman, Herefordshire CLA, Canon Frome. (letter in archive)

Guardian 17.9.04 The damage to our democracy - Your leader about Wednesday's hunting protests (September 16) unfairly implies that the Countryside Alliance was responsible for an intimidatory "assault" on parliament and for "encouraging violent protest". First, the break-in to the chamber by the few angry but unarmed and unaggressive protesters had nothing to do with the alliance…. The violent clashes between police and some protesters were highly unfortunate but came about despite, not as a result of, our efforts… Simon Hart, Chief executive,, Countryside Alliance
Whatever one thinks of chasing foxes, the actions of the five who ran into the Commons chamber demonstrated a huge contempt for parliament. It has been suggested this has not happened for centuries. Wrong. We have a prime minister who has treated the house with contempt for seven years… Frederick Forsyth, Hertford, Herts
Those of us who support hunting are the same people who fight the government's wars, pay its taxes, looks after the countryside and provide for this country in countless other ways…. Crispian Cuss, London
… Legislating against people - even worse, punishing people - who, in their own eyes have done no wrong, breeds resentment and destroys trust in government. There's an alarming amount of it around now. Mike Nellis, Birmingham
Legislating against people - even worse, punishing people - who, in their own eyes have done no wrong, breeds resentment and destroys trust in government. There's an alarming amount of it around now. Mike Nellis, Birmingham
So much fuss made about the House of Commons being invaded by a handful of unarmed protesters. How very different for the Iraqis. Thanks to the same House of Commons, their entire country has been invaded. Dr John Welford, Edinburgh (letters)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Fine line - I am supportive of the hunt protesters, but they should be careful not to alienate the public and lose their support… Tim Hedges, Panicale, Italy (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Democracy is sick - As president of an educational charity that helps young people to achieve worthwhile rural careers, I was behind an armoured glass partition watching the hunting debate (News, Sept 16). It was a baffling experience. Few MPs bothered to attend, and those who did paid no attention to the arguments deployed…. Tom Sewell, Shamley Green, Surrey (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Blot on the Alliance - The protesters who broke into the Commons chamber did a great disservice to the Countryside Alliance and the many hundreds of thousands of hunt supporters, including myself, who marched peacefully in London on two occasions to protest against the anti-hunting Bill…. Anthony Haslam, Hampton Hill, Middx (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Unattractive courts … The proposed ban is simply unenforceable. As a magistrate for more than 20 years, I know how difficult it is to deal with large numbers of defendants in a courtroom…. John Harper, Guilsborough, Northants (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Menacing and provocative bread and circuses - The vast majority of people in Parliament Square had probably attended few, if any, political demonstrations. Like me, they must have found the police presence disproportionately heavy, menacing and provocative. It was not surprising that there was some tension and minor clashes near the main entrance to the Palace of Westminster…. Michael Sheasby, Farnham Common, Bucks (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Arrest the police - As a retired police sergeant, I never thought I would see the day when I was totally ashamed of the police service. It was as if I was watching a dictatorship forcing through unpopular and illegal legislation with the support of bullyboy police supporters… Several officers were particularly noteworthy for their blatant staffing of demonstrators, particularly around the skull…. Steve McCulloch, Wadsworth, W Yorks (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Champagne for sham friends - Given the reintroduction of the hunting Bill, not on grounds of animal welfare, but class bigotry, I must be one of many hitherto loyal readers of the Telegraph seething at finding our paper dominated by Cherie Blair promoting her latest fortune-seeking venture… William Cracroft-Eley, Lincoln (letter)

Telegraph 17.9.04 Never wear brown in town - As a recent convert to your paper, I note that the view is often advanced by your readers that we townies do not understand country ways. This may be so; it also strikes me that they do not understand ours. Here are a few things that simply aren't done when in the city. 1) We tend not to attack the police if we can help it - it's bad form…. Chris Hunter, London N22 (letter)

Times 17.9.04 Hunting Bill leads to a failure of security and democracy at Westminster - I discern a common link between the protests by Fathers 4 Justice and the pro-hunting groups, not only in the associated breaches of the peace, but in the failure of the democratic process…. ROSS A. CONNELL, 5 West Meads, Guildford, Surrey m GU2 7S
…. Shame on any government that uses the Parliament Act to further its own agenda despite overwhelming public opposition, and in pursuit of a vindictive and spiteful objective to reduce further the freedom of the few to pursue their interests. Yours faithfully, MARTIN W. SHORT, 27 Norland Square, W11 4PU.
Rather than increase security at the House of Commons with armed police, it would be preferable for the Government to stop trying to push through increasingly oppressive legislation…. 1 Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3AH
The last occasion that legislation was proposed which provoked widespread civil disobedience was for the poll tax, the ultimate consequence of which was the fall of Margaret Thatcher. Yours faithfully, JOHN TINGEY, Cottenborough Bungalow, Fairford Road, Southrop, Gloucestershire GL7 3PJ.
I heard an MP state that following the incursion of protesters on to the floor of the Commons, she was concerned that had they had bombs strapped to them (and detonated them) that would have been the end of democracy in our country. Does the arrogance of politicians know no bounds?... MARK HORVATH, Stanway Green Farm, Worlingworth, Suffolk IP13 7NZ
…When the police are seen as an arm of the State, they lose public goodwill. Yours faithfully, PATRICK PHILLIPS, Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA.
I was ambivalent about foxhunting. Now I realise that many of those who support foxhunting are merely thugs, and the sooner it is banned, the better. Yours faithfully, TONY BOX, 12 Strathalmond Road, Edinburgh EH4 8AF.
For some years commentators have noted a violent and thuggish element in once Great Britain. Having just watched the television news,some of them appear to have joined the Metropolitan Police force…. H. GRAVELL, Park House, West Street, Great Somerford, Wiltshire SN15 5EH.
Batman scales the railings surrounding Buckingham Palace, pro-hunt protesters enter the floor of the House of Commons. Why should we have any faith in the ability of the security services to protect us from professional terrorists? Yours faithfully, A. C. MORAN, 24 Letham Drive, Newlands, Glasgow G43 2SL.
s Her Majesty’s Government has created mayhem by its strict application of parliamentary procedure, perhaps Her Majesty should consider defending the liberties of her subjects by also taking a strict line and withholding her assent to the legislation. Yours faithfully, JOHN E. JAMES, 36 Bruton Street, W1J 6QZ (letters)

Leicester Mercury 17.9.04 A HUGE MAJORITY CONSISTENTLY SUPPORT A BAN - Last weekend, the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance tried to persuade city centre shoppers that there was majority support for hunting with hounds. This is completely untrue. Opinion polls have consistently shown the great majority of citizens wish to see an end to hunting…. Simon Green, Loughborough (letter)

Leicester Mercury 17.9.04 IS IT A KNIGHT IN ARMOUR OR HUNTER IN PURDAH? - Apparently, police are planning to use spy cameras in the countryside to enforce a ban on fox-hunting. Cctv cameras will be sited among hedgerows, fences and trees along the hunting routes. So, what happens if the riders wear masks? Perhaps the horses will have to have number plates for identification purposes. What a waste of money and police time. L Deacon, Leicester. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 17.9.04 HUNT BILL A WASTE OF VALUABLE TIME - I Was born and bred in the countryside, in the fox hunting county (Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire), and am also a retired police officer. I am saddened by the ban on fox hunting although I am not a supporter of cruelty…. I consider that the Bill regarding fox hunting has been an absolute farce and a waste of public money and valuable parliamentary time when other more important issues could have been dealt with…. As a retired police officer, I was absolutely saddened to see officers having to inflict injuries on the protesters, although they had to defend themselves. To my mind this seems ludicrous as I consider this fox hunting saga is not worth the spilling of any human blood… GERRY ASH Branston. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 17.9.04 SICK LOVE OF KILLING - The hunting fraternity is completely blind as to why the majority of people find this practice so abhorrent. The reason is simple - most think it sick that they think they should have the right to enjoy themselves while killing another of God's creatures… T. WYTHE, Roydon Grove, Lincoln. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 17.9.04 RURAL TRADITION HOUNDED OUT From: Angela Vaux, Brettanby Manor, Barton, Richmond. I SEE September 12 was designated as Racial Justice Sunday where the Government encouraged the people of this country to open their arms to all who come to our shores seeking refuge. At the same time they proposed to bring in a law to persecute a minority of British people by trying to enforce a ban on part of the traditional British way of life, namely hunting with dogs…. (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.9.04 INSULTING ALLIANCE - How insulting to others that the Countryside Alliance should choose prejudice as its campaign theme. Surely its members - mostly wealthy, white, middle class and male - experience the least prejudice in our society. K Butt Wells Somerset (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.9.04 MOVED TO WRITE AGAIN BY ANTI-HUNTING NONSENSE - I wasn't going to write again on the subject of hunting before I read Wednesday's Points of view page and was subjected to no less than three letters referring to the banning of fox hunting… While I write this the ITV News is running a piece on a lady who has been told she will be given an appointment for the tests needed to confirm if she has what is suspected to be breast cancer.... in seventeen weeks' time. Is that not more important than hunting? Where are the letters?... Name and address supplied (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.9.04 MPS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HUNT BAN, NOT TONY BLAIR - Three weeks ago I wrote to Tony Blair about the delay in imposing a ban on hunting with dogs for sport… The Hunting Bill will be enacted as a result of the determination and resolution of most Labour Members of Parliament to respect the wishes of their constituents: not as a result of Tony Blair and his inner circle of Ministers. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.04 IS THIS HUNTING BAN REALLY A TOP PRIORITY? - Here we go again. We must be coming up to a General Election. With all the terrorism going on worldwide and at home an inadequate NHS and education at sixes and sevens, what does our Government decide to do? Waste its time getting hunting banned. That really is earth-shattering. I am neither for nor against hunting. There are far greater issues that need sorting out first…. And Tony, if you are relying on a hunting ban to give you another term in office, you could be in for a shock. Colin Richey, Tiverton (letter)

Cumberland News 17.9.04 WHY BLAIR HIDES BEHIND HUNTING SMOKESCREEN - THE proposal, for purely political reasons, to delay the implementation of the ban on foxhunting for up to two years is the final proof, if any were needed, that animal welfare is the least of the concerns of those backbench MPs, such as Carlisle’s Eric Martlew, who have bayed so long and so loudly for the abolition of hunting… DAVID PARKERLongtownCarlisle
At least foxes die quickly - I NO LONGER hunt but I think I’ve got quite a lot of experience as I had nearly 30 years of service as a huntsman in various parts of the country…. The people who interfere with the running of the countryside either have some kind of hidden agenda or don’t know what they are talking about. DEREK CHEATHAMCaldew DriveDalston (letters)

Hexham Courant 17.9.04 HUNT BAN LOOKS LIKE CLASS SPITE - There are many pressing problems in the UK: crime rates are soaring, the NHS is overstretched, and how many times have we heard that our public transport system is nothing more than a joke? Yet the Government’s main concern is hunting. As priorities go, hunting should not even be on the list…. VERITY JOHNSON, Horsley (letter)

Hexham Courant 17.9.04 WAY OF LIFE - IF HUNTING with hounds were to be made illegal, I would not be one of those unfortunate people that would lose their livelihood. I and many thousands of hunting people from all walks of life would lose something that we are so passionately fond of that, after the family and providing for them, it is the most important thing in our lives…. ALAN BOLESWORTH, Simonburn. (letter)

Hexham Courant 17.9.04 THE REALITY - PAUL Kelly may feel hunting is an irrelevant aspect of country life (Courant, September 10) but a large number of his constituents feel differently. He should ask the farmers how they will dispose of fallen livestock without the local kennels…. MISS WENDY HOWES, (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 17.9.04 Politics and packs - On the fox hunting issue – did we see early waves of anarchy with more to come? The issue in the light of the state of misrule by Parliament is piffling nonsense… The miserable number of MPs shown in the House for the debate clearly indicates the attitude of our representatives, most of whom couldn't give a twopenny damn about foxes. Sam Chadwick, e-mail, Leeds
I have listened to the debate about fox hunting for many years on how we should all feel grateful to the hunts for keeping the fox numbers under control and that is why they do it and not for the thrill of the kill…. The appalling behaviour of the fox hunters suggests they have lost the argument with regard to hunting with dogs and they know this…. Stephen Clark, Bawn Approach, Leeds (letter)

Bucks Free Press 17.9.04 Pro-hunters had an invite from PM - Open Letter to: The Rt Hon Tony Blair ON one Boxing Day I was part of a small anti-hunt demonstration outside the gates of Chequers. We made no attempt to spoil in any way your family's celebrations, we were not noisy, we did not block the roads… We would have been very gratified to have received at least some form of acknowledgement from you, preferably at the time, but at the very least after the festivities. However, none was forthcoming…. On the occasion of your wife Cherie's special birthday party, Chequers was targeted by hunters, who blocked the roads for three hours, preventing guests from arriving and obstructing the free passage of other road users. Police were present. The hunters' intimidating tactics worked and they were granted an interview with you, emerging, we are told, smiling and satisfied…. Beatrice M Bradley Cuxham Road Watlington (letter)

Bucks Free Press 17.9.04 Huntsmen will kill their hounds - WITH about 500 other country people I was outside the gates of Chequers on Saturday night to make plain to the PM and his wife's guests our anger at his Government's bill to ban hunting…. The purpose of this letter though is to apologise to any of the public whose journeys were disrupted when the police closed roads in the area. Sorry but we needed to make this protest and will continue to do so. John Howard-Jones Ibstone (letter)

Bucks Free Press 17.9.04 Could lead to one party system THE pros and cons of the Foxhunting Bill pall into insignificance when one realises that the Government, by invoking the Parliament Act, can push through any issue, however petty, thus giving itself supreme powers rendering the House of Lords totally redundant…. John Fagan Watersplash Farm Fulmer (letter)

Daily Record 17.9.04 FOX DISGRACE - I THINK the disgraceful scenes outside and inside the House of Commons spoke volumes about the fox hunting, shooting brigade… Sylvia Miller, by email
I CAN'T believe the people who broke into the Commons to protest against the hunt ban. Where were they when the war was going to start?... Animal lover (letters)

Bolton Evening News 17.9.04 Hunters taste own medicine TO those people in London demonstrating about the ban on fox hunting, I say to them I have difficulty sympathising with you, especially those whingers covered in blood complaining to the TV about heavy police tactics… George Whitlow, Solent Drive, Bolton (letter in archive)

Western Mail 17.9.04 Attack on rural life - Is the Labour Party bent on the destruction of the rural economy and the communities therein? Is this merely one more step in their programme to force people to move into urban areas ?... FRANK D MARSH, Penbryn, Talgarth, Powys (letter)

The Sentinel 17.9.04 TIME TO END THE TORMENT - As someone who hates any form of cruelty to animals, I welcome the ban on hunting and the sooner it is brought into force the better…. MARTIN O'REAGAN Sandbach (letter)

The Sentinel 17.9.04 HUNTING BAN IS NOT NECESSARY - I see that Tony Blair and Co have put the full weight of Government behind the Anti-Hunting Bill and have pulled out all the stops to take away just a little bit more of our freedom of choice. Hunting has been a part of our countryside heritage for hundreds of years…. P SIMIC Kidsgrove (letter)

The Sentinel 17.9.04 HOORAY FOR HUNTING BAN Re pro-hunting hooligans. I would like to be the first person in a very long queue to make a citizen's arrest, if they defy the law and carry on hunting. At last - something to celebrate. ANDY DAY Hanley (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 17.9.04 LETTERS IN BRIEF - Ban foxhunting and introduce lout-hunting instead. It would be an absolutely splendid way to rid our streets and alleyways of human vermin and would keep the hunters entertained too. They could still dress up in ridiculous clothes and chase something…. DAVE MANLEY New Exeter Street, Chudleigh
THE fox hunting vote is totally unfair. Those that do hunt are completely outnumbered before they start, so it is a total farce! I also believe the do- gooders who want the ban should each have to shoot one of the hounds and see how they feel about that…. KIRSTIE SHARP Windsor Road, Torquay (letters)


Sheffield Star 16.9.04 Hunt anger at police 'attack' - A PRO-hunt campaigner from Sheffield today told of "outrageous" police violence after being caught up in bloody clashes with officers outside Westminster. Steven Clark, joint master of the Barlow hunt on the edge of Sheffield, said a man standing beside him was knocked unconscious by a baton-wielding policeman after being confronted by riot officers in Parliament Square in London… Among those who attended the rally were members of the Barlow, Ecclesfield, High Peak and Pennine hunts… (story)

Sunday Sun 16.10.04 Get over it, hunters - "This fine filly hunts," declared the placard held aloft by a brazen, blonde hussy in an overflowing bra. Underneath, in smaller type - and minus, I feel obliged to point out, the apostrophes that would have made the sentence grammatically correct - was added the uninspiring slogan "don't ban what you don't understand!"… A sense of proportion is needed. A ban will never be wholly effective because it cannot be adequately policed and thousands of foxes will still be gunned down. So can we please move on? With the current hysteria, anyone would think killing a fox was the moral equivalent of eating babies (story)

South Shropshire Journal 16.9.04 We're not stopping now, say hunt pair - “Angry” and “determined” – that’s how a pro-hunt campaigner summed up this week’s decision to ban her way of life. Lindsay Hill, from Bishop’s Castle, and her husband Ollie run the United Pack’s kennels…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 16.9.04 SUPPORTERS VOW TO FIGHT FOR THEIR CAUSE - Supporters of hunts based near Bristol say they have not given up despite the Commons vote to ban fox hunting. John Riddiford was one of 250 people from the Berkeley Hunt who travelled to London to demonstrates outside the Houses of Parliament…. The Duke of Beaufort Hunt territory lies in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, stretching from Bath in the South and Malmesbury in the East to Cirencester in the North and Chipping Sodbury in the West… (story)

Cornwall Packet 16.9.04 Cury on hunting! By Laura Parsons - MEMBERS of the Cury Hunt were among the thousands of protestors who gathered in London yesterday to make clear their opposition to a ban on hunting with dogs… Mr Williams said a ban on hunting would have an impact on services provided by the hunt to local farmers, such as the collection of fallen stock, and would also harm the livelihoods of people like hunt groom Jackie Alway and farrier and whip Mike Stevens…. (story in archive)
Cornwall Packet 16.9.04 Hunt supporters take protest to the capital - MEMBERS of the Cury Hunt, many from the Falmouth, Penryn, Mawnan and Constantine area, were among the thousands of protestors who gathered in London this week to make clear their opposition to a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story in archive)

Somerset Guardian 16.9.04 PROTESTERS HEAD OFF TO TRY AND SAVE HUNTING - A coach full of pro-hunt protesters left the region yesterday morning bound for the Houses of Parliament. The group was travelling to Westminster to demonstrate against the bill to ban hunting, which was debated by politicians last night…. Richard Standing, who owns the Mendip Kennels, near Chewton Mendip, added: "It is unlikely that our protest will change the outcome but we will fight to stop a ban…. (story)

Frome & Somerset Standard 16.9.04 PUT REASON INTO HUNTING DEBATE - Once again this week the thorny question of hunting rears its head. As we went to press Parliament was expected to put through a bill imposing a total ban on hunting animals with dogs, although there will probably be a two-year lead-in time to "allow the rural community to adjust"…. Both sides must have their say, and be listened to, but the central argument must not be forgotten. There should be no "sport" in killing. (story)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 16.9.04 PUT REASON INTO HUNTING DEBATE - Joanna Roughton (story)

Cotswold Journal 16.9.04 Hunt protesters join big protest - HUNDREDS of Cotswold people travelled to Westminster yesterday to join the protest in Parliament Square as MPs debated the hunting ban… Speaking from Parliament Square yesterday afternoon, Tonya Wood, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt, said she was amazed by the size of the demonstration and by the number of people who had travelled up from the Cotswolds. "The reason we are here is not just about hunting - it is a huge civil liberties issue" She added that the trains travelling to London along the Cotswold Line had been packed with supporters of the Heythrop Hunt, the Cotswold Hunt and the Warwickshire Hunt, among others. (story in archive)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 16.9.04 BLACK DAY FOR THE HUNT - HUNDREDS of people from Rutland joined a mass protest in London while Parliament debated whether to ban hunting with dogs…. Michael Clayton, committee member of the Cottesmore Hunt and chairman of the regional Countryside Alliance, said: "It was a very black day for Parliament, a very black day for democracy, but above all a very black day for the British countryside where there will now be months, if not years, of strife and bitterness." When the law comes into force in 2006 the eight people who live and work at the Cottesmore Hunt Kennels and stables in Ashwell will lose their homes and livelihood and up to 100 hounds could be destroyed, he claimed…. (story)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 16.9.04 INJURED HUNT MUM VOWS TO BREAK LAW - A BATTERED and bruised mother, injured in London's hunt protest, has vowed to break the law and still go hunting. Jane Thorpe-Codman (37) of Nassington was left with cuts and bruises to her face and a damaged knee after being pushed by police…. She travelled to the capital with two coaches of supporters from the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt. Mrs Thorpe-Codman and her husband, Andrew, are regular foot followers and their nine-year-old son Harry rides on a lead rein…. (story)

Rugby Advertiser 16.9.04 MP slammed over hunting stance - RUGBY'S MP is one of a band of vindictive backbenchers forcing hundreds of years of tradition to come to an end according to a local pro-hunting campaigner…. Rugby MP Andy King told the Advertiser he was planning to vote for the ban… Countryside Alliance member Peter Towers, who hunts with Atherstone and Warwickshire, often with three generations of his family, was among those protesting against the ban… (story)

Cornishman 16.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS CONVERGE ON LONDON FOR PROTEST - Hunt supporters from West Cornwall yesterday joined thousands of others who converged on London to fight for the future of their traditional sport. Members of the Western Hunt and Countryside Alliance travelled to the capital by rail and road to take part in the demonstration in Parliament Square…. (story)

Retford Guardian 16.9.04 LOCAL FOX HUNTING SUPPORTERS HIT OUT AT GOVERNMENT PLANS - FOX HUNTING supporters from Bassetlaw have hit out at Government plans to ban the activity. FOX HUNTING supporters from Bassetlaw have hit out at Government plans to ban the activity. MPs voted to outlaw fox hunting after a debate in Parliament on Wednesday…. Among those present was huntsman Roderick Duncan from Barnby Moor. Mr Duncan works for the Grove and Rufford Hunt and says his livelihood is at threat by the ban on fox hunting…. (story)

Hampshire Chronicle 16.9.04 We'll carry on until the ban, say hunt supporters - Supporters of hunting in Hampshire say it is business as usual after Westminster moved closer to a ban on Wednesday… President of the Hursley Hambledon Hunt, Carolyn Humphrey, said they would carry on as before until a ban was introduced… Luke Axel-Berg of the Hampshire Hunt said they would also continue until a ban was imposed….(story in archive)

Mid Wales Journal 16.9.04 Farmers vow to ban MoD! By KAREN EVANS - Hundreds of Mid Wales landowners will immediately stop the Armed Services from using their land for military manoeuvres in response to the hunting ban…. Ken Jones, the master of the Irfon and Towy Hunt and chairman of the Federation of Welsh Packs, said that dozens of farmers in Mid Wales would no longer give the MoD permission for troop exercises…. Hundreds of hunt members from all over Mid Wales, Shropshire and Herefordshire joined thousands from all over Britain at a protest in London on Wednesday. Dozens of coaches ferried angry protesters from the David Davies Hunt based in Llanidloes, the Irfon and Towy Hunt, the Radnor and West Herefordshire Hunt, the Teme Valley Hunt in Llandrindod Wells, Knighton and Penybont, and the Golden Valley Hunt. Sophie Blaine, joint master of the Teme Valley Hunt, was at the demo on Wednesday. She said the protest had been peaceful apart from a fringe element. (story)

Melton Times 16.9.04 WE'LL BREAK THE LAW - FOXHUNTING was banned last night as MPs voted to bring to an end a centuries-old tradition… Supporters from the Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore hunts were in London yesterday to protest, and they united in their pledge to break the law…. ANY Bill to ban foxhunting will have a severe impact on Melton. The ban could affect the town's jobs, livelihood and heritage with knock-on effects for the surrounding countryside…. (story)
Melton Times 16.9.04 HUNTS VOW TO KEEP FIGHTING UNTIL BILL IS LAW - MELTON'S hunt community will continue fighting the Bill to ban foxhunting. Hunt members have said they will do all they can to keep their heritage alive until a ban becomes the law of the land. Quorn joint master Richard Morley said he intended to break the law, "as many people will. Mr Blair has declared war on the countryside."… (story)
Melton Times 16.9.04 ANIMALS WOULD SUFFER - HOUNDS could be destroyed, foxes may be starved, gassed and shot and even horses trained for hunting might be put down. The Bill to ban foxhunting will endanger the lives of many animals if it is made law by the Government, according to hunt experts…. (story)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 16.9.04 SUPPORT FOR HUNT - Hunt supporters from across West Wiltshire travelled to London yesterday (Wednesday) as the future of the sport came 0652nder scrutiny. A debate and vote on government plans to ban hunting were scheduled to take place in the House of Commons last night… (story)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 MASTER VOWS TO BREAK BAN ON HUNTING WITH DOGS - Members of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt joined an estimated 10,000 hunt supporters at Westminster last night as MPs voted on whether to introduce a ban on hunting with dogs…(story)

Evesham Journal 16.9.04 Hunt supporters lobby Commons - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters from across the district lobbied the House of Commons yesterday as MPs debated the controversial anti-hunting Bill…. Jamie Smith, a member of the North Cotswold Hunt, said: "We want to let people know just how strongly we feel about the way Parliamentary procedure is being used to force this issue through."… (story in archive)

Independent 16.9.04 'Misconduct' probe over Commons policing By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent, PA News - The police complaints body is to investigate complaints against officers over yesterday's pro-hunt demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament, it was announced today…. (story)
Independent 16.9.04 The country comes to town Bloody clashes outside Parliament as pro-hunt protesters break into Commons chamber to disrupt MPs' debate By Andrew Grice, Nigel Morris and Marie Woolf - A security clampdown at the Houses of Parliament was under way last night after five supporters of hunting invaded the Commons chamber…. (story)

BBC News Online 16.9.04 Commons breach 'like civil war' - Security breaches in the House of Commons allowing five pro-hunt protesters into the chamber dominate Thursday's papers…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Job fears for hunt workers - Each day at 5am, Daniel Moggs begins his work in the stables of the Warwickshire hunt…. Yet the career which he has enjoyed for 15 years is now under a very real threat - by the laws which seek to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Labourer charged for hunt protest - A farm labourer from Somerset arrested during the pro-hunt demonstration in London has been charged by police. Brett Parsons, 31, from Sticklynch, Glastonbury, faces allegations of using threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway…. (story)

Mirror 16.9.04 WHO HELPED HUNT INVADERS GET INTO COMMONS? - By Oonagh Blackman, Political Editor, And Jeff Edwards, Chief Crime Correspondent - Britain's top cop Sir John Stevens today labelled the storming of the House of Commons by pro-hunt protestors an "inside job."… (story)
Mirror 16.9.04 TALLY HOOLIGANS - A POLICEMAN told last night how thugs lobbed fireworks into the faces of officers as yesterday's pro-hunt demonstration turned into a riot…. Professional Durham hunstman Simon Kenney said he was set upon by one officer. He added: "I was trying to make my point to a policeman, then he just hit me with his baton."… (story)
Mirror 16.9.04 HUNT BAN BILL PASSED BY 190 VOTES By Bob Roberts Deputy Political Editor (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 16.9.04 HUNTING GETS A BLOODY NOSE by Angela Gallen - HUNT supporters from Dorset were caught up in bloody clashes as demonstrations turned ugly in London. Dozens of members from the South Dorset, Cattistock and Portman Hunts were involved in violent outbursts between police when they descended on Parliament Square to protest against the controversial bill to ban fox-hunting. Kate Lovelace, 28, an insurance worker, from Piddlehinton, today told how she was hit in the face with a police truncheon while trying to escape the scuffle… (story in archive)

BBC News Online 16.9.04 Most Welsh MPs vote for hunt ban - Twenty five of Wales' 40 MPs - all of them Labour - have voted in favour of a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Hunt demo complaints investigated - Claims of police misconduct during a pro-hunting demonstration are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Following allegations made to the media, official complaints had now been made, said the IPPC… (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Viewpoints: Fox hunting ban - MPs voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to ban hunting with dogs despite protesters invading the Commons and demonstrating outside in their thousands…. The day after extraordinary scenes at Westminster, BBC News Online gathered opinions from different sides of this most heated debate…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Hunt ban: how your MP voted (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Profiles of Commons protesters (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Pro-hunt slogan damages hillside - Pro-fox hunting protesters who burnt a slogan into a hillside ahead of a vote in the Commons have been described as irresponsible by conservationists. Supporters burnt the words "No Ban" into the grass near the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Eight held after Commons break-in - Extra police are to guard the Commons chamber after five pro-hunt protesters were able to burst in while MPs debated a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
BBC News Online 15.9.04 Pro-hunt protesters storm Commons - Parliament was suspended after five protesters burst into the Commons chamber while MPs debated whether to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 Now the real hunt battle starts - Analysis By Nick Assinder - It may have taken them seven years, but anti-hunting MPs believe they have as good as won their battle to outlaw the activity…. But Wednesday's events have proved just how high emotions are running over this issue and there is plenty of opportunity for this to come back and bite the government… (story)
BBC News Online 16.9.04 MPs vote to ban hunting with dogs - MPs have voted to ban hunting with dogs despite mass demonstrations and the debate in the House of Commons being interrupted by protesters… (story)

Times 16.9.04 Invasion of Westminster BY PHILIP WEBSTER, POLITICAL EDITOR - THE great countryside uprising to defend foxhunting ran out of control and provoked a security nightmare as protesters stormed the chamber of the House of Commons and police fought with others outside. Armed police were last night guarding the chamber after the extraordinary invasion during the debate on the Hunting Bill by five demonstrators wearing white pro-hunt T-shirts who evaded all Parliament’s security checks to reach the floor of the House. It was the first time in living memory that it has happened…. (story)
Times 16.9.04 We have got to fight, what else can we do? BY DAVID LISTER - LESS than five minutes after being beaten around the head by a police baton, Andrew Vernon was politely insisting that the officers had every right to hit him. As he wiped away the blood and apologised for his slightly dishevelled appearance, the 25-year-old protester declared that he had nothing but admiration for the men who had just bludgeoned him…. Alan Ward, 70, a farmer who rides with the North Cotswolds Hunt, said: “We’ve behaved ourselves for seven years. We came here with 400,000 people and they didn’t listen to us. They don’t respect country people any more. You mark my words, if it’s needed they’ll be more trouble like this. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”… (story)
Times 16.9.04 How five men in white T-shirts made a mockery of Commons security - THE hunting lobby was always determined to make its mark on its day out to Westminster. They promised a lot of noise and protesters in fancy dress but only a handful of the thousands who pressed their way into Parliament Square knew of the plan to stage one of the most controversial raids the House of Commons has yet witnessed…. Frank Houghton-Brown, a huntsman with the Tynedale hunt in Northumberland, told The Times last night: “These guys were determined to do something. They were very unhappy about losing their sport and maybe their living. When they found out about the debate in Parliament three days ago, they started thinking what could be done… Another said to have been aware of the plot is Marcus Armitage, former champion jockey and now a journalist who has worked for The Daily Telegraph. Others are Robert Thame, another professinal polo player, Henry Banks-Jones, who hunts with the Puckeridge in Hertfordshire, and Richard Wakeham, 37, who works for an insurance company and hunts with the Middleton in Yorkshire…. (story)
Times 16.9.04 Rock star’s son ‘was protest mastermind’ - OTIS FERRY, believed to be the mastermind of the stunt, is the son of the rock star Bryan Ferry and the country’s youngest hunt master. It is a job that he has described as “a bit like being a football manager”. Since May, the 21-year-old has led the South Shropshire Hunt and has said that he is willing to go to jail to defend foxhunting…. (story)
Times 16.9.04 Militants plan civil disruption BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A MILITANT wing of the hunting community has been brooding for months over a perceived lack of muscle in dealings with the Government. The Countryside Alliance has tried for months to keep the lid on this tinderbox but when the Government announced that it intended to bring back the Bill to ban hunting and to invoke the Parliament Act, the leadership knew it could no longer maintain control and warned ministers and police that they could no longer rein anyone in…. (story)
Times 16.9.04 Illegal acts in defiance of Parliament’s will turn democracy on its head, minister says BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE minister responsible for the Bill banning hunting appealed to hunt supporters yesterday to abandon their campaign of civil disobedience and recognise Parliament’s right to legislate. Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, told MPs it was wrong for some to argue that the use of the Parliament Act, if required, to force a ban through could justify illegal acts…. (story)
Times 16.9.04 Those who voted against ban and those who did not vote (story)
Times 16.9.04 Parliamentary Sketch - When penguins struggled to show protesters the door BY ANN TRENEMAN - PARLIAMENT was surrounded by the people yesterday and not in a good way. That is how it felt for most of the day. Until, that is, the people came inside and all hell broke loose. The pro-hunt demonstration in Parliament Square began in the morning and seemed good natured at first. By 4pm, though, the steady throb of noise was punctuated by explosions. Bang! Bang! Bang! Orange smoke bombs were going off by the minute and the air took on an acrid tang. … (story)
Times 16.9.04 End of the era of frock coats BY STEWART TENDLER, CRIME CORRESPONDENT - THE scenes of the men in frock coats chasing the men in T-shirts across the floor of the Commons chamber yesterday sounded the death-knell for an antiquated security system… (story)
Times 16.9.04 Labour will regret reigniting class war - ANATOLE KALETSKY - The foxhunting ban revives those ugly social divisions that were thought to be waning - HOW will history remember Tony Blair? As the saviour of foxes and butcher of hounds and horses? As the patriotic warrior who sent soldiers to die under false pretences for a country which may soon not even exist? As the idealist who promised to put Britain at the heart of Europe but did not even try to join the euro?... There is no moral difference between a huntsman who finds it exciting to chase a fox with dogs and a fisherman who finds it relaxing to torture a pike with hooks. In fact, opponents of hunting do not have a moral leg to stand on unless they campaign for a total ban on all other forms of unnecessary killing for pleasure, including the slaughter of animals for meat… By supporting the anti-hunt activists and reneging on the earlier compromise for licensed hunting, Mr Blair is opening the Pandora’s box of class warfare. In doing so, he is risking all that he has achieved. (story)
Times 16.9.04 A hollow victory - Human tolerance is the loser in the foxhunting debate - The Prince of Wales wants the Army to ensure the Royal Family’s security; it may now have to cordon off the Palace of Westminster as well…. John Stuart Mill would have called the passage of a ban on hunting with dogs an example of the tyranny of the majority, and many who have fought the ban since Tony Blair came to power in 1997 hold a similar view…. Foxes will still have to be killed, though in the new era by traps, snares, poison gas and men with guns and powerful lamps. And humans may die, too, after the tragic lead of the 13-year-old killed during a night-time hunt in Devon last weekend. Such incidents will rekindle the rage of huntsmen and civil libertarians long into the future. Yet they should use the law, not break it. Their chances of reversing the ban in the courts may be slim, but the courts, not the barricades, are the place to pursue justice (story)

Telegraph 16.9.04 Hunt brawl in Commons By George Jones, Political Editor - Pro-hunting demonstrators descended on Westminster yesterday, storming into the Commons chamber and causing chaotic scenes inside and outside Parliament in a foretaste of a countryside uprising against a hunting ban.... (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 Commons sketch - Labour's class war gets physical in the MPs' sitting-room - There was already a feeling of impending doom in the Commons chamber when the five young protesters burst in. Watching the proceedings from the press gallery, and seeing the intensity of emotion on each side of the argument, it was impossible to feel that all this was going to end well.... (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 Arrogant indifference to our liberties - Yesterday's protest in the Commons chamber, and the clashes between police and hunt supporters outside Parliament, show that the patience of some of the most law-abiding people in the land cannot be taken for granted in the face of very bad laws... Peaceful protest is justified, and many people who hunt will in due course have to decide for themselves whether to ignore the ban and dare the Government to enforce the unjust measure it is forcing into law. (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 Blair shows his contempt for Parliament by banning hunting By W F Deedes - The Prime Minister's willingness to pacify Labour's itch to ban foxhunting - and so take a swipe at the old order of things - is an affront to Parliament. ... (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 The polite protest that descended into bloody confrontation By Oliver Poole, Michael Kallenbach and Richard Alleyne - The blood dripping down well-ironed checked shirts was as incongruous as the polite accents voicing indignation at the behaviour of the Metropolitan Police… "We're decent, respectable people and we don't deserve the riot squad treatment," David Jukes, 45, the Master of the Zetland Hunt in North Yorkshire, said as he mopped a bloodied brow…. Jeremy Irons, the actor, who is master of a hunt in Cork, west Ireland, summarised the feelings of those milling around the placard-strewn square. "If this vote succeeds, it will lead to the eventual death of hunting and the Labour Party will have lost my vote and that of hundreds of thousands more," he said. (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 Builders' hats and forgery got them in By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent - The Westminster intruders entered the chamber using a forged invitation from MPs and a disturbingly good knowledge of the Commons lay-out. They took advantage of the extensive refurbishment works to pose as contractors invited to view the extensive works.... (story)
Telegraph 16.9.04 We owe it to the people to reverse this ban, say Tories By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Members of Parliament voted to ban hunting yesterday after an afternoon that illustrated what the term "abuse of democracy" might actually involve. For the first two hours and 10 minutes MPs debated a procedural device allowing the Government to put the Hunting Bill through the Commons in a day. Many MPs furiously protested that the tactics were undemocratic. But after five protesters burst into the chamber, where at least one of them was able shout insults at Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, almost eyeball to eyeball, MPs united to condemn an affront to Parliament of a completely different order.... (story)

Guardian 16.9.04 How a crack team of tailcoats came to the rescue - Simon Hoggart - When the protesters ran into the chamber, it was like those occasions when a gang of drunken yobs arrive in a railway carriage. No one quite knows how to react, except that you can see everyone thinking "somebody, someone, please do something, but pray God it isn't me"….. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Invasion of the Commons - Patrick Wintour and Peter Hetherington - Ministers were last night considering a ban on demonstrations in Parliament Square and the introduction of armed police to guard the doors of the House of Commons in the wake of the most flagrant breach of parliamentary security in living memory… The Countryside Alliance's chairman, John Jackson, condemned "these lawless activities which are selfish and self-indulgent. However appalling the behaviour of Alun Michael, people should not allow themselves to be provoked into activities of this kind which can only harm the cause for which thousands of their fellows are demonstrating peacefully"… (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 A breach too far threatens openness - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - MPs from all parties wandered around the members' lobby last night looking shocked and depressed by the worst breach of security since 1812, when Spencer Perceval was killed in the precincts of parliament….. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Challenges ahead as forces prepare for wave of pro-hunting disruption - Sandra Laville and Rosie Cowan - Police across the country are braced for a wave of protests in the wake of the ban on fox hunting. Hunt followers are planning demonstrations, road blocks and other direct action which could stretch security resources in rural areas… If the depth of feeling in the villages around Petworth, on the West Sussex and Surrey border and home to the biggest hunt in south-east England, is indicative of other hunting strongholds, the police may face big problems…. Dick Ide-Smith, an 84-year-old retired major, declared: "I've been a member of the British Field Sports Society since 1930 when they first attempted a ban on stag hunting. We defeated them then and we will do it again this time." (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Journalist told in advance of threat to storm chamber and successful dry run - Lee Glendinning and Matt Wells - The BBC last night admitted it had been alerted in advance about protesters' plans to storm the House of Commons. In his report on the 10pm news last night, the BBC's political editor, Andrew Marr, revealed the protesters had undertaken a dry run on Tuesday, dressing up as builders…. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 MPs fear that increased safety measures will threaten open democracy - Richard Norton-Taylor - Security experts last night warned that the latest lapse at the House of Commons highlighted the conflict between a democracy's obligation to be open and the need to protect public servants from outside interference or attack…. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Members disowned but actions will damage organisation's credibility - Peter Hetherington - The Countryside Alliance, which has portrayed itself as a champion of freedom and respect for the law, was forced to disown some members last night after protests inside and outside the Commons badly damaged its credibility…. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 What now for the men in tights? - Michael White - When five fit young pro-hunting protesters burst into the Commons yesterday they were tackled by an ad hoc posse of MPs and men in tights, one with a sword banging on his legs, part of a traditional outfit straight out of the BBC's costume cupboard… (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Out of bounds - Leader- An elected parliament's right to meet, debate and pass laws without fear of intimidation stands at the very heart of the democratic system. Any physical threat to that right is an event that should alarm any true democrat… The other immediate effect of yesterday's violence is to discredit the opponents of the ban on fox hunting. Many fair-minded people, as we said in this column only yesterday, were justifiably uneasy about the ban on libertarian grounds, even if they dislike hunting itself. Yesterday's mob scenes, however, will have forced many such people to come off the fence… In the end, the majority must have the right to make laws, and the minority must accept the responsibility to obey them. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Batons, blood, and a security shock - Lucy Ward and Owen Bowcott- The storming of the floor of parliament was not a spur-of-the-moment act of protest, but part of an elaborate and well-planned move, involving the son of a rock star, a dummy run the day before, bogus letters and the clothes of construction contractors… The first signs that the Westminster protest as MPs voted to ban hunting was going to be something other than routine came mid-afternoon, when hundreds of demonstrators surged against lines of baton-wielding police. Within minutes, bloodied protesters were pitted against officers in riot gear, in scenes that could have come from the 1980s miners' strike…. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Home of dissent for 400 years - Julian Glover (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Implementation of ban likely to add to difficulties in long-running battle - Peter Hetherington - After yesterday's vote it now looks all but certain that a ban on hunting will come into force, probably in 18 months' time… The experience of Scotland illustrates the difficulties ahead, although legislation north of the border differs in some areas…. (story)
Guardian 16.9.04 Rock star's son and polo friend of princes among chamber invaders - The group of protesters who stormed the House of Commons yesterday included rock star Bryan Ferry's son Otis, a jockey, a lawyer, and a stud owner, as well as an England polo player friend of Princes William and Harry…. Mr Ferry is now a master and huntsman with the South Shropshire hunt after dropping out of Marlborough College in Wiltshire three years ago. Luke Tomlinson, 27, was also arrested, said a Countryside Alliance source. He was educated at Eton and is one of Britain's top polo players and a friend of princes William and Harry. Henry Bankes-Jones, 25, has trained as a lawyer and graduated from Durham University. He has worked for the Puckeridge in its hunt stables. David Redvers, 34 is a stud owner at Hartpury in the Severn Vale, near Gloucester, and has been involved with the Ledbury Hunt for many years…. (story)

Independent 16.9.04 Bloody clashes outside Parliament as pro-hunt protesters break into Commons chamber to disrupt MPs' debate By Andrew Grice, Nigel Morris and Marie Woolf - A security clampdown at the Houses of Parliament was under way last night after five supporters of hunting invaded the Commons chamber….(story)
Independent 16.9.04 Rise of the countryside militants shows despair at failure of lobbying By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent - The violence and disruption that erupted both inside the House of Commons and on the surrounding streets yesterday reflects the growing militancy among small sections of the pro-hunting lobby…. Last night, one senior Countryside Alliance official who wished to remain anonymous, distanced the organisation from his actions and described how Mr Ferry represented a more radical wing of the pro-hunting movement…. (story)
Independent 16.9.04 'There were probably 20 of us getting hit up there it was just disgusting' By Terry Kirby, Helen McCormack and Danielle Demetriou - It began as a peaceful demonstration by civilised people concerned that a part of the British way of life was under threat. But yesterday's protest by the Countryside Alliance at the Bill to ban hunting was marred by violence and scenes of confrontation… Andrew Vernon, 25, from Ayrshire, Scotland, who was also caught in the clash with police, expressed similar disbelief at the spectacle. "I saw girls getting hit just like me," he said…. Graeme Worsley, master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, who attended with his wife and two children, said: "This is being steamrollered through the Commons with little evidence that it really represents the wishes of the majority of British people." (story)
Independent 15.9.04 Ugly clashes as hunt protesters burst into Commons By Helen William and Nicola Boden, PA News - Protesters opposed to Government plans to ban hunting clashed with police today as thousands of hunt supporters converged on the House of Commons…. (story)
Independent 16.9.04 A way of life wrongly attacked or the end of a centuries-old cruel blood sport?

Independent 16.9.04 Insider suspected of worst security breach By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent - A broken cardswipe machine was the weak spot that allowed pro-hunt demonstrators to achieve the most serious breach of Commons security in living memory. The fact that the Palace of Westminster currently resembles a building site also gave them cover for their audacious stunt…. (story)

Mirror 16.9.04 PROTESTS AS MPs VOTE 'YES' TO HUNT BAN - MPs today voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting with dogs, in a day of drama at Westminster. Members voted by 356 to 166 in favour of a ban that will see fox-hunting and hare-coursing outlawed in England and Wales from late 2006… (story)

Daily Mail 16.9.04 Tories slam Blair's no show for hunt vote - Tony Blair's decision not to take part in yesterday's vote on fox-hunting has been condemned by Tories as "an act of utter cynicism"….(story)
Daily Mail 16.9.04 Police misconduct probe after pro-hunt clashes - The police are to be investigated after yesterday's bloody clashes during the pro-hunt demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to carry out an investigation into allegations of police misconduct, a spokesman said today…. (story)
Daily Mail 16.9.04 A shaming day for British democracy - Surging demonstrators forced against police lines; truncheons crashing on bloodied heads; decent people reduced to helpless rage; roads brought to a standstill; the black farce of protesters bursting into the Commons and forcing the suspension of the sitting; this was a day of shame for our democratic tradition. In the autumn sunshine, Parliament Square blazed with passion. These were citizens who would normally never dream of breaking the law but felt driven to despair and even violence - which can't possibly be condoned - by the bullying threat to their whole way of life…. One thing is certain. This issue reveals the Commons at its worst. Yesterday was a sorry day for British democracy. We fear it may not be the last. Mr Blair has much to answer for. (story)
Daily Mail 16.9.04 Who was to blame? The clashes were ugly and reminiscent of the pitched battles between police and striking miners 20 years ago…. Protesters claimed that they had been attacked by the massed lines of baton-wielding police. Senior officers insisted that the action they took was 'proportionate' in the face of overwhelming provocation. But this was not a view shared by the rural men, women and teenagers whose day out in Westminster ended with the crack of a police baton on their skull…. (story)

icScotland 16.9.04 Bill to ban fox hunting passed to Lords - The Bill to ban fox hunting in England and Wales has been passed to the House of Lords after winning overwhelming support from MPs… (story)

icScotland 16.9.04 15 quizzed on protests outside Parliament - Fifteen pro-hunting demonstrators remain in custody following violent clashes with police outside Parliament…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 16.9.04 CITY MAN IN COMMONS INVASION - A Gloucester man spearheaded the massive demonstration against the decision of MPs to ban fox hunting by storming the House of Commons yesterday. David Redvers, 34, a stud owner from Hartpury, along with other Gloucestershire protestors, breached security as a day of demonstration erupted in violence and confusion… John Holliday, and Andrew Elliot, 42, both members of the Ledbury Hunt were also involved in the Commons scuffle, breaking into the chamber, sparking a suspension of the sitting and more searing questions about Commons security…. (story)

Shropshire Star 16.9.04 Eight held in hunt protest - Eight men who stormed the House of Commons in a last-ditch attempt to fight a government ban on hunting remained in custody this afternoon…. South Shropshire hunt master Otis Ferry, the gang's actions led to Prime Minster Tony Blair expressing "deep concern" at how easily security was breached…. (story)
Shropshire Star 16.9.04 A 55-year-old Shropshire hunt supporter struck on the back of the head three times during the huge hunting protest in Parliament Square was this afternoon considering legal action against the police…. Brian Perry, who oversees international horse trials at Hillocks Farm, Cleobury Mortimer, needed emergency treatment at St Thomas' Hospital after blood gushed from a gash on his head when he was claims he was hit by riot police during yesterday's demonstration in London…. (story)

Sussex Express 16.9.04 GOVERNMENT OUT OF TOUCH, SAYS TORY - RORY Love, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Lewes, joined a group of protesters from Plumpton Green at the 10,000-strong rally outside the House of Commons on Wednesday to demonstrate against the Government's proposed ban on hunting… (story)
Sussex Express 16.9.04 COMMONS INVASION DEPLORABLE, SAYS MP - LEWES MP Norman Baker has condemned the invasion of the Commons chamber by hunting supporters…. (story)
Sussex Express 16.9.04 INJURED BY DEMO POLICE - A LAUGHTON man taking part in Wednesday's mass Countryside Alliance demonstration in London against the banning of fox hunting suffered a terrifying experience which left him with a head wound requiring 11 stitches. Stephen Mockford, a 32-year-old fencing contractor, found himself with his father Donald at the front of a large crowd in Parliament Square held back by the police…. (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 16.9.04 Hunters back protest - EAST Lancashire huntsmen today spoke of their determination to stop a ban on fox-hunting in the wake of protests in London. Members of the Holcombe Hunt and Bleasdale Beagles, with support throughout the countryside communities, said the protest had left them "heartened"… (story in archive)

Western Telegraph 16.9.04 Hunt ban Bill returns to top of agenda by Debbie James - The kennel huntsman for the South Pembrokeshire Hunt says he will lose both his home and his job if the Government pushes through a ban on fox hunting. Simon Jones will be one of the people most directly affected if the Bill on hunting with dogs being reintroduced by the Government today (Wednesday) is made law. He joined dozens of members of the South Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire Hunts in London today to protest outside the House of Commons… (story in archive)
Western Telegraph 16.9.04 Hunting supporters target MP's home by Debbie James FOX HUNTING supporters targeted the Pembroke Dock home of MP Nick Ainger on Sunday morning, to protest against a Government vote today (Wednesday) which could outlaw hunting within three months. Mr Ainger's family and neighbours were woken at 7.40am by repeated blasts from a hunting horn…. Mr Ainger had what he said was a `frank exchange of views' with the protesters on the doorstep of his home for around 45 minutes…. One of the protesters, South Pembrokeshire Hunt committee member Diane Clements, said the protest was one of a series of actions planned by fox hunting supporters…. (story in archive)

Whitehaven News 16.9.04 PARLIAMENT SHOULD GIVE PRIORITY TO PENSIONERS - PARLIAMENT had the countryside to town yesterday as the fox hunting issue approached yet another key vote. MPs were voting as the presses thundered with this week’s edition of The Whitehaven News, and by now the wellies of pro-hunting lobbyists will have had the mud of Westminster’s lawns scraped off them… what is a much more important worry than all this braying is speculation by some Westminster insiders that time to push through the hunting ban could disrupt a much more important piece of legislation, the new Pensions Act…. It would be a tragedy if this vital new legislation got delayed in some cynical political move that would get blamed on the foxhunting issue. Let us all hope that whatever happens to Freddie the Fox our MPs make the right moves to get a pensions safety net more firmly in place in English law (story)

Essex Evening Echo 16.9.04 Basildon: MP Smith delighted at hunt ban - Basildon MP Angela Smith has hailed the Government's bid to ban hunting with dogs after years of campaigning… (story in archive)

Essex Evening Gazette 16.9.04 Harwich: Hunt vote delights animal campaigner … Harwich town and district councillor Lawrie Payne, a member of the national executive committee of the League Against Cruel Sports, gave his reaction to the vote… (story in archive)

Portsmouth News 16.9.04 It's war, say hunt supporters - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners in our communities today vowed: We'll defy a ban on hunting…. (story)

Kent Messenger 16.9.04 Fox-hunting family will break the law by Bill Day - A FAMILY of fox-hunters fear losing their livelihood and say they will do everything they can to protect their way of life. The Blakeneys say they have suffered years of abuse, but are determined to carry on, despite Government plans to ban fox-hunting… Mrs Blakeney's husband, Richard, is a key figure in East Kent hunting circles. A professional huntsman, he helps run the East Kent Hunt's 38 meetings a season. He also controls East Kent Hunt Kennels in Elham, the base from which he produces 80 hounds to work with the hunt…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 16.9.04 Protesters storm Commons - MPs voted to ban foxhunting last night after a day of unprecedented drama at Parliament when protesters burst into the Commons chamber….(story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 16.9.04 Campaigners: We'll fight ban - HAMPSHIRE hunt supporters have made their thoughts clear on the decision which threatens their livelihoods - the battle may be lost but the war is far from over…. Graham Ferris, spokesman for New Forest Hounds, said: "We will be challenging this in the courts so I'm fairly certain we're going to overcome this problem…" (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 16.9.04 We'll run this hunt bill to ground by Chris Yandell … A Bill that will make hunting with hounds illegal was backed in the Commons yesterday amid violent scenes inside and outside the chamber. Graham Ferris, a spokesman for the New Forest Hounds, was among about 100 people from the area who travelled to London to take part in a mass rally in Parliament Square. Today Mr Ferris said the Countryside Alliance would be mounting two legal challenges to try to save the bloodsport…. (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 16.9.04 THE END FOR HUNTING? by Chris Yandell - CENTURIES of tradition, jobs and millions of pounds will be lost from the New Forest if MPs today vote to ban fox-hunting… The New Forest Hounds (NFH) estimates that hunting is worth at least £1.5m to the local economy every year…. (story in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.9.04 Fury at bill to ban hunting By Rebecca Sheppard - THERE was fury and defiance from countryside campaigners from East Anglia last night as a ban on hunting drew a step closer…. James Buckle, master of the Essex and Suffolk foxhounds, said he was amazed that the bill was a priority of the Government…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 16.9.04 Anti-hunt brigade can smell victory - The way is now paved for the Government to steer a ban through Parliament - more than seven years after its manifesto first promised a free vote on the issue. But if hunt opponents succeed in banning the sport, what will happen next? STEVE DOWNES examines the issue…. (story)

Scarborough Evening News 16.9.04 PROTESTERS VOW TO CARRY ON HUNTING - HUNTS in Scarborough, Ryedale and Whitby have vowed to carry on and break the law if hunting with hounds is banned…. Tim Osborne, hunt secretary at Staintondale who travelled to London to take part in the demonstration, said: "No-one wants violence but no-one will listen…" Sarah Morley, hunt secretary with the Derwent Hunt, said the hunt would continue, even if there is a ban on hunting with hounds…." Gilda Brader, hunt secretary for the Middleton Hunt who also travelled to London to take part in the pro-hunt demonstrations, said they would be taking to the Countryside Alliance about their next steps…. Sinnington Hunt secretary Bridget Till said: "It's still lawful and we will carry on hunting. There's a long time between now and July 2006…" (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 16.9.04 Hunt protesters ready to go to jail MORE than 100 members of a county hunt have vowed to defy the new hunting laws – even if it means going to prison. David Reynolds, Master of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt, based at Brigstock, says he and about 100 other hunt members have signed a declaration that they will carry on hunting regardless… (story)

Jersey Evening Post 16.9.04 Drag hunt may be affected by UK ban BY CARL WALKER - JERSEY could be affected by Parliament's preliminary decision to ban fox hunting… Joint master of the Jersey drag hunt Stephen Arthur said: 'This decision by the UK government will have an indirect effect on drag hunting in the Island as we could have trouble getting hold of the hounds, which are specially bred in the UK.' (story in archive)

Glasgow Evening Times 16.9.04 Police conduct probe after hunt protest riot - AN investigation is to be launched into allegations of police misconduct during the pro-hunt demonstration outside the Commons. The Independent Police Complaints Commission's own investigators will examine complaints from the public after tempers flared in Parliament Square during the controversial vote to ban fox hunting in England and Wales…. >(story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 16.9.04 I'D RATHER GO TO JAIL THAN STOP HUNTING - ROB PREECE - Tavistock's Olympic medal winner Kate Allenby has defiantly vowed to carry on foxhunting and risk being sent to prison. The modern pentathlete, who won a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was one of thousands of protesters who yesterday gathered outside the House of Commons as MPs debating the Hunting Bill overwhelmingly backed a ban on hunting with hounds. But Ms Allenby has insisted that she and fellow members of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt would ignore the law if and when it is introduced…. Tavistock's Olympic medal winner Kate Allenby has defiantly vowed to carry on foxhunting and risk being sent to prison. The modern pentathlete, who won a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was one of thousands of protesters who yesterday gathered outside the House of Commons as MPs debating the Hunting Bill overwhelmingly backed a ban on hunting with hounds. But Ms Allenby has insisted that she and fellow members of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt would ignore the law if and when it is introduced…. (story)

Northwich Chronicle 16.9.04 Hunt plans to fight on against ban By David Holmes, Northwich Chronicle - BOTH sides of the hunting debate in Mid Cheshire have reacted passionately to news the Government will push on with a ban on fox-hunting… Delamere-based Jeremy Weston, chairman of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, says the fight isn't over yet…. (story)

Oxford Mail 16.9.04 Hunting ban brought in by landslide vote - MPs last night voted overwhelmingly to ban fox-hunting and hare-coursing -- after the debate was interrupted when five pro-hunt demonstrators stormed into the Commons chamber…. Edward Leigh-Pemberton, of the Old Berkshire Hunt, based near Faringdon, had been at the protests in London. He said: "The result of the vote was as expected. The invasion of Parliament reflects the anger of the countryside people and is an example of what we will continue to do to embarrass this Government…." (story in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo 16.9.04 'HUNTING DEMO WAS TERRIFYING' - Gloucestershire hunt supporters spoke of their shock as demonstrations against the Hunting Bill descended into violence. Thousands of pro-hunters descended on the capital to voice their anger at plans to ban the countryside pursuit…. Five protesters, including Beaufort Hunt stalwart Luke Tomlinson, who lives near Prince Charles' Highgrove estate, and Hartpury stud owner David Revers, managed to break into the chamber, sparking a suspension of the sitting and more searing questions about Commons security…. Chris Adams, member of the Cotswold Hunt Action Group, saw some of the trouble…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 16.9.04 HUNT LOBBY PROTEST AT PARLIAMENT - Around 150 supporters of the Cotswold Hunt left for London this morning to join a massive protest against plans to ban hunting…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 16.9.04 OUR BATTLE GOES ON - BLOODY but unbowed, Yorkshire hunt campaigners today pledged to fight on…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 16.9.04 MP ATTACKS HUNT PROTEST 'THUGGERY' - Town MP and minister Elliot Morley slammed hunt supporters who stormed the House of Commons and clashed violently with police outside… (story)

Liverpool Echo 16.9.04 'Hunting laws will go-ahead' - MPs are determined not to let the House of Lords scupper the anti-hunting bill, which will stop the Waterloo Cup running in February…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 16.9.04 'WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS CLIPPING CIVIL LIBERTIES' - A Large delegation of protesters from the west were in London to show their opposition to a ban. Jill Lindquist, from South Wraxall, near Bradford on Avon, joined a group from the Avon Vale Hunt…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 16.9.04 FOX HUNTING: FOX BAN - WE WILL RIDE ON SAY FITZWILLIAM - THE Fitzwilliam Hunt has vowed to continue to ride across countryside near Peterborough in defiance of a hunting ban…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 16.9.04 SUPPORTERS JOIN HUNTING BAN PROTEST - RICHARD AUTY - Hundreds of Welsh protesters joined the thousands protesting outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday as the controversial debate over a fox hunting ban reached a head. MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban fox-hunting and hare-coursing - after a debate interrupted when five pro-hunt demonstrators stormed into the Commons chamber…. Richard Griffiths, aged 45, who manages Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen Mink Hounds, said: "I want to stop the Government flouting parliamentary democracy…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 SHOW OF DEFIANCE AS HUNTERS RIDE OUT - East Riding: Members of the Holderness Hunt were back in the saddle today, pledging to defy a ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 WE WILL DEFY BLAIR'S LAW - COUNTRYSIDE enthusiasts today pledged to defy the ban on hunting with hounds. Senior master of the Holderness Hunt William Bethell predicted they would be joined by hunts nationwide in ignoring the new legislation… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 RULING WELCOMED BY CAMPAIGNERS - Anti-hunt campaigners today spoke of their joy after MPs voted to ban the practice. Steve Broom, of Apollo Walk, Ings Road Estate, Hull, who has campaigned against hunting for 12 years, said: "I'm pleased the anti-hunting ban has gone through… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 FOR OR AGAINST: HOW YOUR MP VOTED (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 EIGHT HELD AFTER HOUSE OF COMMONS INVASION - Eight people are being questioned in connection with burglary after five pro-hunt campaigners stormed into the House of Commons chamber in the most dramatic security breach in living memory… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 POLICE ACCUSED OF BEING HEAVY-HANDED - Fifteen pro-hunting demonstrators were arrested following yesterday's violent clashes with police outside Parliament, police said… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.9.04 ROCK STAR'S SON AMONG CHAMBER PROTESTERS - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry has been named as one of the five pro-hunt demonstrators arrested after they stormed into the Commons chamber and brought the debate on a hunting ban to a halt…. (story)

Daily Record 16.9.04 FOX THUG PUNCHES SCOTS MP - SCOTS MP Anne Picking was punched in the face by one of the pro-hunt protesters as she tried to get into the Commons…. (story)
Daily Record 16.9.04 FERRY'S BOY AND HARRY PAL HELD (story)
Daily Record 16.9.04 RIVER O OF BLOOD SPORT - By Pippa Crerar … Housewife Jane Thorpe-Codman,37, from Peterborough, Northamptonshire, said she was pushed over by a PC as she tried to get away from the scuffles…. (story)
Daily Record 16.9.04 SECURITY BREECHES AND TIGHTS (story)
Daily Record 16.9.04 YET ANOTHER GAFFE - THE incident is the latest in a line of major security lapses…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 16.9.04 GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE! By Mark Preskett - CUMBRIAN pro-hunt protesters were caught up in violent clashes with police yesterday as a total ban on hunting with dogs was passed…. (story)
Cumberland News & Star 16.9.04 CUMBRIANS CAUGHT UP IN VIOLENCE By Mark Preskett CUMBRIAN pro-hunt protesters were caught up in violent clashes with police yesterday as a total ban on hunting with dogs was passed…. (story)
Cumberland News & Star 16.9.04 ‘TO SIT AT HOME AND WATCH SOMEBODY TRY TO CRIMINALISE YOUR LIFE FOR NO GOOD REASON IS SO FRUSTRATING AND UPSETTING. THE FEELING IS INDESCRIBABLE’ By Kat Ferguson - DEFIANT Cumbrian fox hunters joined thousands of protestors at Parliament Square yesterday as MPs voted on the future of fox hunting…. Peter Wybergh, huntmaster of the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds, was at the march while his wife, Anne, stayed at their home in Welton near Dalston with their children…. (story)

Belfast Evening Telegraph 16.9.04 The country comes to town - Bloody clashes outside Parliament as pro-hunt protesters break into Commons chamber to disrupt MPs' debate By Andrew Grice, Nigel Morris and Marie Woolf (story)

Retford Guardian 16.9.04 LOCAL FOX HUNTING SUPPORTERS HIT OUT AT GOVERNMENT PLANS - FOX HUNTING supporters from Bassetlaw have hit out at Government plans to ban the activity. MPs voted to outlaw fox hunting after a debate in Parliament on Wednesday…. Among those present was huntsman Roderick Duncan from Barnby Moor. Mr Duncan works for the Grove and Rufford Hunt and says his livelihood is at threat by the ban on fox hunting…. (story)

Redditch Standard 16.9.04 Commons invaders praised by county councilor - A REDDITCH county councillor has applauded the efforts of demonstrators who broke into the House of Commons chamber during Wednesday's debate on fox hunting - but condemned the violent scenes outside Parliament. Coun Philip Gretton, a member of the Countryside Alliance, was among thousands of demonstrators in Parliament Square protesting against government plans to ban fox hunting…. But Redditch MP Jacqui Smith said Mr Gretton should be ashamed of his comments. "Protesters shouted, shook their fists and pointed at Members of Parliament carrying out their democratic duties - no one could know how far they would have gone," she said. (story)

Evening Standard 16.9.04 Hain calls for director of security - Commons Leader Peter Hain has called for a new director of security at Westminster - sidelining the Serjeant at Arms - to stop a repeat of Wednesday's protest when five hunt supporters stormed into the chamber to confront MPs…. (story)

Worcester Standard 16.9.04 MPs at loggerheads over future of hunting - THE FUTURE of the controversial sport of fox hunting was set to be decided in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday), with two of the county's MPs at loggerheads over the issue. City MP Michael Foster, who is anti-hunting, was to go up against Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff who was set to propose an amendment to the Hunting Bill which would impose a seven-year delay to the ban… (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 16.9.04 'We will not give up the fight to keep hunting' - HUNTSMEN from Kirklees have vowed to overturn the ban on their sport voted through by Parliament…. Four hunts are based near Huddersfield which will all be affected by the ruling - the Holme Valley Beagles and Colne Valley Beagles, the Pennine Foxhounds and the Rockwood Hunt…. (story)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 16.9.04 MP Barry votes against 'steamroller' - HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman was among only a handful of Yorkshire MPs to vote no for a ban on hunting… (story)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 16.9.04 Gallic shrugs over English hunting row - Although he now lives and works in France, former gamekeeper JEREMY HOBSON has never forgotten his days with both the Colne Valley and Holme Valley Beagles. After last night's Commons' vote to ban hunting he wonders how his rural neighbours in France would receive a similar ban…. (story)

Oldham Chronicle 16.9.04 Protesters may be shot: MP - ARMED police could be forced to shoot first and ask questions later if protesters continue to break into Parliament, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas warned today…. (story may be in archive)

Sheffield Star 16.9.04 HUNT ANGER AT POLICE 'ATTACK' - A PRO-hunt campaigner from Sheffield today told of "outrageous" police violence after being caught up in bloody clashes with officers outside Westminster. Steven Clark, joint master of the Barlow hunt on the edge of Sheffield, said a man standing beside him was knocked unconscious by a baton-wielding policeman after being confronted by riot officers in Parliament Square in London… (story)
Sheffield Star 16.9.04 OUR LAST LINE OF DEFENCE - MEN IN TIGHTS - A GROWN man dressed in stockings and tailcoat, jaunty cravat and ceremonial sword slung at his side, rugby tackles a long haired protester to the ground as bewildered middle aged men look on…. (story)

Daily Post 16.9.04 Havoc as MPs ban hunting By Rob Merrick, Daily Post - A FORGED letter allowed demonstrators to storm the Commons chamber and overshadow a vote that brought fox hunting to the brink of an outright ban, MPs were told last night…. Once inside the chamber, wearing T-shirts portraying Tony Blair with horns, they screamed abuse. "You f***** up pensions! You f***** up everything!" one shouted…. (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 16.9.04 A vote that has divided country at what cost? by Darren Slade - MPs made history on Wednesday night by backing a ban on hunting for what could be the last time… (story in archive)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 16.9.04 Hunt demo erupts into violence - IT was the day that passions over the hunting debate finally boiled over…. Around 50 pro-hunting demonstrators from the New Forest were among the estimated 20,000 who convened at Westminster yesterday…. (story in archive)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 16.9.04 Protesters invade Commons by Paula Roberts - A NEW Forest MP has spoken of the shocking moment when five pro-hunt protesters broke into the House of Commons. Desmond Swayne, Conservative MP for New Forest West, was in the commons chamber when the protesters burst in and ran shouting towards members during the hunting debate. He said the invasion must have been an inside job…. (story in archive)

Lancashire Evening Post 16.9.04 Angry hunters vow to carry on regardless - Lancashire's defiant hunters today vowed to carry on regardless, despite the Government's vote to ban hunting with hounds… Preston pest controller Mark Luxton, from Ashton, a member of the Countryside Alliance, who was at the demonstration said the battle was not over…. (story)

Burton Mail 16.9.04 HUNTERS: IT'S WAR by DAVID POWLES - A HUNT campaigner caught up in violence outside the Houses of Parliament has warned that mass disruption could be caused by protesters to force a Government change of heart… Former nurse Jackie Howells, from Willington, was among members and supporters of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt who went to Parliament yesterday…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.9.04 Hunting's last stand as MPs face invasion - A FORGED letter allowed demonstrators to storm the Commons chamber and overshadow a vote that brought fox hunting to the brink of an outright ban, MPs were told last night…. Last Saturday, Mr Ferry - who spent four seasons as a kennelman and assistant whipper-in with the Middleton hunt in Birdsall, North Yorkshire - joined a protest outside Tony Blair's constituency home in Trimdon, County Durham… (story in archive)
Northern Echo 16.9.04 It's come to this - people are full of anger by Hannah Chapman - HUNT supporters from across the North-East and North Yorkshire gave a mixed reaction last night to yesterday's scenes outside and inside the Houses of Parliament…. Simon Dobinson, huntsman with the South Durham Hunt, based at Hardwick Park, Sedgefield, said: "This is what it is coming to. People are full of anger about this…" About 80 people from the York and Ainsty North Hunt based, at Arkendale, near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, travelled to the protest…. Keith Balbach, joint master of the Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was worried about the effect the violent scenes would have on their cause…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 16.9.04 Peaceful protest ends in bloody confrontation at Westminster by Andrew Douglas - BLEEDING from the head, professional huntsman Simon Kenney warned Tony Blair to expect much more trouble if the Government goes ahead with its hunting ban… (story in archive)
Northern Echo 16.9.04 Chamber of horrors for MPs as security is breached again - The Northern Echo's parliamentary correspondent Robert Merrick saw the extraordinary scenes as pro-hunt demonstrators invaded the Commons chamber…. (story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 16.9.04 HUNTING ...WHILE THEY CAN - The South Notts Hunt was out today after the dramatic vote on fox-hunting in Parliament yesterday…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 16.9.04 POLICE AND HUNT BAN PROTESTERS IN CLASH - Explosive protests marked last night's vote in the Commons to ban fox hunting. Parliamentary Correspondent DAVID BYERS followed events… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 16.9.04 WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED - Pro-hunt campaigners today pledged to continue their fight against a hunting ban after angry protesters stormed Parliament…. John Green, joint master of the Burton Hunt, from Glentham, added: "There will be some people who are extraordinarily angry. People feel that the Government has abused its power… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 16.9.04 BACK ON THEHUNT Hours after the bloody scenes outside the Houses of Parliament, members of the Brocklesby Hunt today showed the ultimate act of defiance by riding out with the hounds for a chase…. Sandi Hall (46), of Thoresthorpe, was injured in the clash. A suspected broken ankle was later found to be badly twisted when the protesters felt the full force of the law. Mrs Hall was body slammed by a riot police officer, according to the Master of the South Wold Hunt, Nick Ashcroft… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 16.9.04 LINCS HUNTERS SADDLE UP FOR PROTEST PETER CRAIG - Hundreds of pro-hunting protesters from the Grimsby area descended on Parliament yesterday to persuade MPs to save hunting with hounds… Charlotte Williams (17), from Caistor, who also attended the demo on behalf of the Brocklesby Hunt, said: "Hunting is a tradition in our community and should be allowed to continue. This Bill represents a threat to our freedom."… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 16.9.04 GRIMSBY MP BLASTS BLAIR'S BILL TACTICS - NEIL PRESTON - Grimsby Mp Austin Mitchell slammed the Government's handling of the fox hunting bill - despite voting for its implementation. Mr Mitchell was in the Commons yesterday, but he was not happy with the way the matter was dealt with. He said: "I think it is a mistake on the Government's part. "I don't particularly like fox hunting but Tony Blair's tactics have been very messy. He didn't even have the decency to vote himself…." (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 16.9.04 LETTER USED IN HOUSE BREACH - Five men who burst into the House of Commons as MPs debated the Hunting Bill used a forged letter bearing the forged signature of Louth MP Sir Peter Tapsell (right) - who was on holiday and did not vote…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 16.9.04 Bloodbath in Parliament Square - CAMERON SIMPSON (story)

Western Mail 16.9.04 Violent clashes at hunt demo - Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - SEVEN arrests followed violent clashes between police and hundreds of hunt supporters who vented their fury outside Parliament as MPs voted inside for a ban… Richard Griffiths, 45, who manages Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen Mink Hounds, said the Government's promise to force the Hunting Bill through the Lords with the Parliament Act if necessary was "flouting democracy"… Gary Yeomans, joint Master of Hounds for the Monmouthshire Hunt, said the Countryside Alliance would challenge the ban in the courts while ordinary supporters would defy it in the countryside… Robin Ashburner, 65, has been hunting with the Banwen Miners Hunt in the Swansea Valley, for 40 years and said when he first joined most of its members were pitmen…. (story)
Western Mail 16.9.04 Commons stormed as MPs vote to ban hunting Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - MPS voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting after a debate was interrupted when five demonstrators stormed the Commons chamber yesterday…. (story)
Western Mail 16.9.04 Commons invaders fail to stop hunt vote - Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - MPS voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting after a debate was interrupted when five demonstrators stormed the Commons chamber yesterday… (story)

The Sentinel 16.9.04 OUTCRY AS HUNTING BAN APPROVED - DAVID BYERS - Protesters from the Staffordshire countryside were among thousands of people who came to London yesterday to express their fury on a planned ban on hunting… Richard de Prez, Master-in-Charge of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, attended the protest but was not involved in the violence…. (story)
The Sentinel 16.9.04 HOW OUR MPS VOTED (story)
The Sentinel 16.9.04 YOU'LL HAVE TO LOCK ME UP BLAIR, AS I'LL DEFY YOUR BAN - Thousands of pro-hunting campaigners protested outside the House of Commons yesterday as MPs voted to ban fox-hunting in England and Wales. James Eyre-Walker, who has been treasurer of the North Staffordshire Hunt for 10 years, went to London to protest against the ban in Parliament Square… (story)

Newcastle Journal 16.9.04 The Battle of Parliament By Zoe Hughes, The Journal - MPs saw it as an historic day to finally ban hunting with dogs - but just hours into the debate angry protesters exposed an appalling security lapse at the heart of British democracy…. Durham huntsman Dave Cowie was ejected from Westminster Bridge by police in riot gear as he and his friends took part in a peaceful lie-down protest… Charles and Emma Stirling, of Tindale, near Corbridge, Northumberland, hunt in Tynedale and are veterans of demonstrations…. Keen members of the Percy hunt in Northumberland, Geoff and Ann Humble, of Dunsheugh, near Alnwick, have been hunting all their life… (story)
Newcastle Journal 16.9.04 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - Hunting issue far from over - As MPs last night voted overwhelmingly to ban fox hunting and hare coursing, the nation got a glimpse of what is likely to follow. The scenes - outside and inside the House of Commons - were not those which should accompany the law-making process in a parliamentary democracy. Whatever your views on fox hunting, few will believe that the actions of a small section of the demonstrators accurately represent the attitude of the vast majority in rural areas. That said, the fact that so many turned up to demonstrate peacefully, is also an indication of the strength of feeling this issue generates… The parliamentarians may now feel they have "decided" the hunting with dogs issue - even if it has still to be steered through the Lords. The fact is that, on the ground, it is far from decided. That much was obvious from the scenes in London yesterday. (story)

Leicester Mercury 16.9.04 THIS SCENE COULD BE ILLEGAL IN JULY 2006 BY TOM MACK - The centuries-old tradition of fox-hunting is set to come to an end in Leicestershire and Rutland…. Joe Cowen, the joint master of Fernie Hunt in Leicestershire who was protesting during a rally outside Parliament yesterday, said: "We always knew the vote would go like this. The battle will continue…" Clare Bell, secretary of the Cottesmore Hunt, said: "We were hugely disappointed by the vote, but we knew backbenchers were vehemently against fox-hunting." Mrs Bell, who also rides with the Quorn and Belvoir hunts occasionally, said: "We are now looking at more protests and more rallies to oppose this ban…." Another protester outside the Commons, Penny Tyacke, of the Atherstone Hunt, said: "We are firm believers in England's countryside being able to decide its own future - not having it decided by people who have nothing to do with it."… (story)
Leicester Mercury 16.9.04 A TOUGH FIGHT INSIDE AND OUTSIDE HOUSE OF COMMONS - Once again, protesters from Leicestershire went to London to express their fury about a planned ban on hunting. Once again, MPs voted against them…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 16.9.04 TRADITION PRESERVED BY FOUR MAIN HUNTS - Leicestershire has four hunts. They are The Fernie Hunt… The Quorn Hunt… The Belvoir Hunt… The Cottesmore Hunt… (story)
Leicester Mercury 16.9.04 HOW OUR MPS VOTED (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.9.04 DEMONSTRATORS STORM CHAMBER FLOOR AS BLOODY SKIRMISHES ERUPT OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT - Simon McGee, Political Editor - MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting on a day of high drama yesterday when five pro-hunt protesters stormed the House of Commons chamber and others clashed with police outside…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 16.9.04 BLOOD SPILT ON STREETS OF PROTESTERS' SHOCK AT VIOLENCE - Julie Hemmings - THERE were casualties on both sides – ugly scenes and bloodshed in the battleground that was the capital's streets…. The York and Ainsty North Hunt was just one of the coach-loads of placard-carrying protesters to travel to the capital – more than 1,000 from Yorkshire alone…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 16.9.04 SON OF ROCK STAR HELD IN COMMONS - Julie Hemmings and Simon McGee ROCK star Bryan Ferry's 21-year-old son was one of the five men who stormed the Commons chamber yesterday… (story)
Yorkshire Post 16.9.04 THE HOUNDED HUNTERS - WE HAVE been here before. There may be mushroom clouds over North Korea, genocide in Sudan and carnage in Iraq. There may be a pensions crisis, woeful under-performance in schools and hospitals, a rate of violent crime which defies all efforts to slow it down and a public-transport system which resists any attempts to speed it up…. The fact that the Prime Minister is willing to waste valuable parliamentary time on this issue, however, is nothing new…. This newspaper cannot condone law-breaking as a method of protest, regardless of the justice of the cause…. The worry now – especially after the ferocious nature of yesterday's protest – is that, once a ban becomes law, the hunting fraternity will make good its threat to carry on regardless. If so, it is impossible to foresee how any ban could be successfully policed without tying up a huge and unfeasible level of police resources, surely the last thing that the Government wants or needs…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 16.9.04 'Ban will cost me my job and home' - HUNTERS in Cambridgehire fear losing their homes and jobs after MPs voted to back a ban on hunting with dogs. Paul Roberts, a huntsman at Cambridgeshire Hunt Kennels, said he and his wife, a groom, would lose their jobs and their home because the kennels would have to close… (story)
Cambridge Evening News 16.9.04 Cambs MP has front row seat in Commons uproar - CAMBRIDGESHIRE MP Jim Paice has described the Commons invasion where hunt activists hurled abuse at ministers just inches from where he sat as "staggering"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.9.04 HUNTING'S DAY OF SHAME - This is the shameful moment hunt supporters stormed the inner chamber of the House of Commons to hurl abuse at the heart of our democracy…. (story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 AFTER THE CHAOS, FATE OF HUNTING IS SEALED - Fox hunting was finally doomed last night after MPs voted by a massive majority for a complete ban following a heated Commons debate…. (story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 STORMING OF THE COMMONS - Five hunt supporters forced their way into the House of Commons' debating chamber yesterday in a shameful stunt which made British security a laughing stock. Armed police were last night guarding the inner sanctum after campaigners brawled with officials and yelled obscenities at MPs as they discussed the hunting ban… (story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 HIGH-PROFILE SUPPORTERS SPEAK OUT - There was fighting talk from many of the high-profile campaigners who joined protestors outside Parliament… (story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 RIOT POLICE BATONS BEAT BACK CHARGE OF THE HUNT BRIGADE - Hunt supporters clashed with riot police yards from the Houses of Parliament, as fury turned into bloody violence yesterday. The pro-hunt demonstration was raucous and angry from the start and sparked into a savage battle between campaigners and police officers… Stuart Gaulton, 36, from Blandford, Dorset, claimed that he was struck by police as he tried to protect another protester who was being hit with a baton . A member of Dorset's Portman Hunt suffered blows to his arm and a head wound… Diana Scott, Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, summed up the mood just an hour before the battle began. "People are not going to contain their anger, when you think of the number of times we have been to London and behaved respectfully….." JO Huckle from the VWH Hunt in Cirencester was furious. "I came on the Countryside March but this time we are a lot more angry because we are being ignored…(story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 DAILY PRESS FACT FILE (story)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 HOW WEST MPS VOTED (story)

Western Morning News 16.9.04 GOVERNMENT PLAYS POLITICS WITH RURAL PEOPLE'S LIVES - The vast majority of the thousands of hunt supporters who demonstrated at Westminster yesterday made their point vigorously but peacefully…. Ordinary law-abiding people - be they huntsmen opposed to a ban on their sport or divorced fathers seeking a change in the law on child access - feel totally disenfranchised and ignored by Government, until they take headline grabbing action…. Labour MP Kate Hooey, a hunt supporter, succinctly defined the political manipulation last night when she complained that Mr Blair had been unduly influenced by a small but very vocal and persistent number of MPs such as Tony Banks and Gerald Kaufman and that the majority of Labour MPs who voted for a ban don't really feel that strongly about it…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.9.04 THE BACKLASH - Tony Blair was facing the prospect of massive unrest in the countryside last night as the patience of hunt supporters finally snapped…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.9.04 HUNT RALLY VIOLENCE FLARES - SON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - The debate over hunting with dogs finally erupted into violence yesterday as furious protesters staged a massive protest outside Parliament where MPs were voting through a ban on the controversial country pursuit…. < target=main href="">(story)
Western Morning News 16.9.04 WE ARE THE VOICE OF COUNTRYSIDE - As the sun rose yesterday morning, a swathe of green-clad protesters left rural South Devon to argue their case in the centre of the concrete jungle. Wearing wax jackets, fleeces and riding hats, pro-hunt supporters from the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers left Buckfastleigh at 6am to embark on a six-hour journey to Westminster…. Meanwhile, more than 50 members of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt delivered a defiant message to London yesterday .. target=main href="">(story)
Western Morning News 16.9.04 MPS ANSWER PROTEST WITH BAN - A total ban on hunting with dogs was within sight last night after MPs gave overwhelming backing to the Hunting Bill amid unprecedented scenes of protest on the floor of the House of Commons.. (story)
Western Morning News 16.9.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS STAND FIRM - Anti-hunt group members where outnumbered by thousands to one yesterday. A small group gathered behind the speakers' stage encircled by police…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 16.9.04 Lothian MP hit in face - A WOMAN MP from East Lothian was punched in the face by a protester as she made her way to the debate on banning fox-hunting. Labour’s Anne Picking said she was trying to show her pass to get into Parliament yesterday when she was attacked…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.9.04 Armed guard for MPs in chamber - BILL JACOBS WESTMINSTER EDITOR - ARMED police were today guarding the chamber of the House of Commons for the first time as a major security review was under way into how five pro-hunting pro-testers stormed in… (story)

Scotsman 16.9.04 Blood on streets as hunt protesters invade Commons - JAMES KIRKUP AND FRASER NELSON - PROTESTERS against a ban on fox hunting south of the Border triggered a crisis in Westminster security yesterday, after five of them evaded every precaution and made it to the floor of the House of Commons as MPs debated the new law. In what was described as the most audacious security breach since the days of King Charles I, men in white T-shirts stormed into the chamber after easily evading security…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 16.9.04 Gun guards to protect MPs - Ian Craig - ARMED guards were protecting MPs in the Commons today after the dramatic invasion by pro-hunting protesters…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 16.9.04 15 pro-hunt demonstrators held after clashes - FIFTEEN pro-hunting demonstrators were being held in custody today following yesterday's violent clashes with police outside Parliament, police said…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 16.9.04 Hunt ban bill heads for the Lords - THE Bill to ban fox-hunting and hare-coursing in England and Wales arrives in the House of Lords today after winning overwhelming support from MPs last night…. (story)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 GOVERNMENT'S HUNT BAN PLAN PUBLISHED - Plans to abolish hunting have been published by the Government. Defra says it is honouring its manifesto commitment to allow Parliament the opportunity to deal with the issue of hunting with dogs by stating its intention to reintroduce the Hunting with Dogs Bill in this Parliamentary session…. (story)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 INTO ANARCHY - What is wrong with our Government? In pursuing a hunting ban they are persecuting a law abiding minority of people, whilst attempting to bring in a Bill which will not make an iota of difference to the welfare of wildlife…. Charlotte Wear, Spaxton. (letter)

Tamworth Herald 16.9.04 FOX HUNTING - THE DEBATE RAGES ON - I Wish to make some comments on fox hunting, the recent rally in London and the countryside in general. Just what were the barmy individuals complaining about in London on the pro-hunt rally? Is it because they believe their whole way of life is under attack? If the 'barmy army' feel that they have the right to watch wild animals being torn apart by a pack of bloodthirsty hounds I feel the ordinary person would feel very little sympathy for them… Eddie Smith, Ansley, (full email details supplied, sent via Herald website at www.tamworth
IN the Herald recently North Warks MP Mike O'Brien proclaimed : 'I gave my constituents a commitment to support a ban on hunting and I would intend to keep my promise'. Well, that makes a change! Since Labour got elected in 1997, we've had a series of broken promises, too many to fit into one letter… The ban on fox hunting is a serious erosion of civil liberties. The Atherstone Hunt has been in existence since 1815 and draws its members from all walks of life - it is not the fiefdom of a privileged few, as Labour would have us believe…. Ian Gibb, Conservative Parliamentary spokesman, North Warwickshire (via email).
THIS week the House of Commons took the decision to ban hunting with dogs, maybe in two year's time and probably after some kind of tussle with the House of Lords…. When put to the vote it is clear that British public opinion is hugely against the barbarous sport of setting hounds on small animals while grown men and women tally ho around the countryside on horseback to enjoy the kill…. Cllr Neil Fuller, Mercian Ward, Tamworth. (letters)

Times 16.9.04 Hunting and 'rights' - Sir, Lord Phillips of Sudbury suggests that hunting is a basic right and a principle of individual liberty (letter, September 14). The truth is that hunting inflicts unnecessary suffering on animals…. JACKIE BALLARD, Director General, RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS.
Sir, If foxes could vote they would campaign to keep hunting, which is infinitely preferable to a prolonged and agonising death by snare, gas, or shooting. But of course the hunting Bill has absolutely nothing to do with foxes…. CHARLES PUXLEY, Easton Farmhouse, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8EE. (letters)

Independent 16.9.04 Amused and terrified by hunt protesters - Walking through the crowds demonstrating in Westminster against the hunting ban was a terrifying, amusing and baffling experience. Pleasant looking middle-aged women turned their signs around to reveal slogans such as "Save a cow; eat a vegetarian". Amusing in another setting, but scary in this…. As for the hounds that will be put down - why don't the approximately 7,000 people in attendance devote their efforts to creating a fund to save them?... RYAN EMERY London N16
(*)The Hunting Bill has been variously interpreted by the hunting lobby as an attack on the rural community, on a pest control service, and most latterly on civil liberties. As the leading organisation campaigning against hunting with dogs, the League Against Cruel Sports has tirelessly refuted these claims…. DOUGLAS BATCHELOR Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports, London SE1 (letters)

Telegraph 16.9.04 Your view: Should hunting with dogs be banned? - MPs will vote today on a Bill which could see fox hunting banned in England and Wales within the next two years…. We asked whether fox hunting should be banned and received an overwhelming response from our readers….
I don't totally agree with fox hunting, but I abhor the way in which this Government seeks to a persecute a minority… Keith Nield, France
I find fox hunting barbaric and abhor cruelty to animals in whatever shape or form…. Pat Coombe, Surrey
The hunt and the various accompaniments to it are terribly important parts of life outside of cities and large towns…. Philip Kelly. London
What makes me angry is that fox hunting is considered a sport. How can killing a poor defenseless animal be considered appropriate behaviour… Miss Tracey Claxton, Kent
Oh really, the government's mania about fox-hunting is so irritating. There are many much more important issues that need attention and that are worthy of debate… Gary Knight, Northants
If the hunting ban really is a civil liberties issue and not an animal cruelty one, as the pro hunt lobby claims, is it safe to assume they are also in favour of legalising drugs, pornography and even bestiality?... Stuart Wells, Bolton
Banning fox hunting is in fact a clear indicator of the destruction of the British concept of liberty and personal freedom, in exchange for the EU's Code Napoleon. Does a nation exist for the people, or for the state itself? Ian Cook, Milton Keynes
The roots of the proposed Hunting Ban lie in the antiquated thread of pure class envy which lies at the heart of 'Old Labour' beliefs…. Simon Coulter
All the venom and hatred from the pro-hunting lobby? On the contrary, reading their comments shows it is they who still attempt to argue and persuade… Martin Murphy
The fox is vermin and I have seen the damage they can do…. Stuart Marland, Nottinghamshire
If hunting is to be criminalised on the grounds that it is cruel and barbaric,then should we not also criminalise the Kosher and Halal methods of slaughter… Mike, Bolton
I do not want farmers and other countrymen out in the dark at night with shotguns, "lamping" foxes - a likely alternative if hunting is banned… Juliet Evans, Chester
Given that even amongst animal rights campaigners it is acknowledged that fox hunting is a low priority against other abuses it is clear that this is a simply a class issue designed to satisfy the labour back benchers in the aftermath of the problems caused by the Iraq war. Simon Jackson, London (letters)

Shropshire Star 16.9.04 Hunt-ban Bill attitudes prompted letter - I have never written to a newspaper before but on this occasion I feel I have to. As we know the hunting bill is back again. I personally don't hunt but if people wish to hunt that is their prerogative… Steve Smith, Randlay

Western Morning News 16.9.04 DOLPHINS DISCARDED IN FAVOUR OF FOXES - I cannot understand how things have come to such a point where Tony Blair and his anti-rural brigade can even consider bringing their great power to bear on destroying the country way of life, in preference to making urgent efforts to ameliorate the terrible suffering to the dolphins, whales and porpoises…. Jenny Tuckwell, Launceston
Lack of consistency - MEMBERS of the farming community have been told repeatedly by ministers that there can be no culling of badgers until such time as there is scientific evidence to support such action. Yet the Government is now putting forward a Bill to ban hunting with dogs. Where is the scientific evidence to support that?... G Mannell, Truro (story) (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 16.9.04 Fight ban on hunting and save country jobs - J Seed, ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 16.9.04 LABOUR SO QUIET ON COUNTRY JOBS - I employ several staff in the local area exclusively involved in the welfare of hounds and horses used for hunting. These loyal and hard-working people live in accommodation provided for them at their place of work and are valued and trusted employees... The staff face an uncertain future. The animals involved face a more certain, but unacceptable, future…. I seem to recall great Labour Party protests at miners' redundancies but those same people are curiously quiet on the impending redundancies of country folk…. Jonathon Seed Address supplied (letter)

Amesbury Journal 16.9.04 Taxpayers will fund hunting ban - I DO not hunt, nor am I a hunt supporter…. I do care about the big issues it raises about personal freedoms and the inappropriate and dishonourable use of the Parliament Act… A T BAXTER, Greystone Cottage, Steeple Langford, Salisbury
IN last week's Salisbury Journal a prominent advertisement asked `What is your police force doing for you?'… Do we then really believe that our police should waste valuable time and resources pursuing the hunting fraternity, should the government force through a ban on fox-hunting against the evidence supplied by its own investigations?... ANNE MACKENZIE, Salisbury Street, Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset
AS parliament returns from its summer recess and is confronted by some very considerable international and domestic challenges, I was dismayed to learn that the government is prepared, once again, to sacrifice valuable parliamentary time and risk the progress of other important legislation by returning to the issue of banning hunting with dogs…. J DEVERELL, Sutton Mandeville, Wiltshire (letters in archive)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 BEST WAY TO SAVE HUNTING - There is a strong likelihood that a Hunting Ban will be enacted in the next few days. This is entirely due to the activities of the Labour Party in the House of Commons. There is widespread opposition to this ban…. Logic dictates, therefore, that there should now be consideration of a legal and cost-free alternative to overturning the ban. This is the return of a Conservative Government at the forthcoming General Election. John Parkes, Corton Denham. (letter)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 NASTY BUNCH OF CLASS WARRIORS - With the news that the Government is to force a Hunting Bill through Parliament, it is obvious that they, and the Prime Minister in particular, have caved in to the vindictive class war obsession of a number of its back benchers who actually admit that the lot of quarry species will not be improved by such legislation… Richard Thompson, New Hayes, Chard (letter)

Western Gazette 16.9.04 AN ACT OF POLITICAL VANDALISM - The announcement that the Government is to press ahead with its Hunting Bill is evidence that this is now a purely political issue and has virtually nothing to do with reasoned argument…. John Rawlins, Bishop's Caundle (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.9.04 CRUEL END FOR FOX … Hunting is part of the fabric of the countryside. If it is banned it is liable to inflict cruelty on foxes as shooting will be more widely used, with no control as to time of year… M J Smith Berkeley Gloucestershire (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.9.04 A HUNT BAN MEANS MORE SUFFERING FOR HORSES - The many well-meaning but frequently misguided supporters of a hunt ban should be aware of the grave effects a ban will have on animal welfare, and I don't just mean the poor old foxes who will face more lingering deaths by increased gassing, poisoning, inaccurate shooting and snaring… So much could have been achieved for genuine animal welfare if the commitment of these people had been thrown behind a ban on live animal export for meat or relieving the current plight of the dolphins. Jan Thatcher, Ridgeway Farm, Ottery St Mary (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.9.04 BLAIR IS ERODING AWAY CHERISHED TRADITIONS - In response to Colin Richey and other contributors to your columns on the thorny subject of banning hunting with hounds and the need to focus on major concerns, may I just echo their sentiments. Blair's cynical attempt to take the heat out of his illegal war on Iraq by pandering to his new Labour backbenchers is typical of his style of electoral dictatorship…. Richard M Holloway, Mount Dinham, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.9.04 'CIVIL WAR' OF HUNT ISSUE DESERVES HIGH PRIORITY - Charlotte Wear, Points of view, September 13, feels that the hunt ban should not be a priority for our leaders. When does she think the Bill should be enacted? Seven years' delay, as a result of deliberate procrastination and prevarication, cannot be regarded as giving priority to the Hunting Bill…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.9.04 I BLAME EUROPEAN UNION FOR PROBLEMS OVER FOXES! I agree with V H Beusman's hypothesis, Points of view, September 13, that foxes are almost certainly to blame for the disappearance of cats, and would suggest that as such they should be humanely culled by bands of men on horses and all dressed up on a Sunday…. P Dukes, Heavitree Road, Exeter (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.9.04 Confusion over claim that hunting ban is merely 'toff bashing' From: John Threlfall, Barnoldswick, Lancashire. WHAT does Robin Page believe in? In his article "It's about toff bashing" (September 9), he seems to be very confused…
From: CF Beck, Lindrick Grove, Tickhill, Doncaster. THE fox is a natural and cruel predator, often killing more than it needs for survival, and can expect to be hunted in its turn…
From: Mrs Elizabeth Waterhouse, Weston Crescent, Otley. ONE Sunday morning in early spring this year my husband and I came across a filleted deer carcass buried in a shallow grave at Fewston Reservoir on Blubberhouse Moor….. So please MPs, while you go on about hunting, make sure you know there are hunters of a very different kind depleting the wildlife around you for their ill- gotten gain….
From: Stuart Twitchell, Field House, Bishop Monkton, Harrogate. THE proposed ban on hunting with hounds has little to do with cruelty and a lot to do with class prejudice…. (letters)

Western Mail 16.9.04 RSPCA re-homing of hounds under scrutiny - I rocked with laughter when I saw a comment by former Wales Minister Alun Michael MP last week in Westminster, on his one and only favourite political issue, that of banning hunting - that "the RSPCA has offered to help with re-homing hounds - an offer for which I am very grateful. Re-home indeed? Mr Michael has forgotten that the RSPCA last year alone destroyed 60,000 healthy animals… DAVID PAYNE, (ex-Labour voter), Bedwellty Road, Tredegar
Ban cats, not hunting - The hunting ban will save the lives of a few thousand foxes, but banning domestic cats would save millions of songbirds from the clutches of one of the greatest threats to our native wildlife. RICHARD WILLIAMS, Fairleigh Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 16.9.04 TV AWAKENED OUR LOVE OF WILDLIFE - Of course the pro-hunt lobby says that no one understands them. In fact, the majority of the population understand only too well and realise that it is the appeal of the hunt and the thrill of the chase that is the real motive that is behind this barbaric pastime… (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 16.9.04 DON'T WORRY ABOUT FOXES, DR PALMER, WORRY ABOUT US - I was not at all surprised to read that Nick Palmer has concerns about his future as an MP (Post, September 13). As a reader of the Post, it is inevitable that I have noticed that he only makes any appearance in the press recently when he has something to say about hunting…. MAX BAILEY Laurel Crescent Nuthall (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 16.9.04 POINTS FROM THE POST - Blair Hunt Project: Mr Blair appears to have been obsessed about introducing a Bill to ban hunting; a Bill that should not even be on a list of priorities…. S. A. HEAD Main Street, Ewerby.
CAVALIER HUNTERS: The most disturbing aspect of the pro-hunting debate is the arrogant ease with which the pro-hunters assume that they are above the law of the land…. JEFF SMITH Washingborough (story)

Northern Echo 16.9.04 HUNTING: THE action of the young man who was arrested during a pro-hunting demonstration outside Tony Blair's house at Trimdon on Friday is understandable. The Government is proposing to take away his job, home and way of life…. AS the end of hunting with dogs is at last to become a reality the vast majority of our people will be celebrating…. Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letter in archive)