» Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Asked to comment on Peers’ apparent readiness to consider a compromise on the issue of hunting, the PMOS said that the Hunting Bill was being debated in the House of Lords today. We would wait and see what the outcome would be. As he had told journalists this morning, the Prime Minister thought that the compromise option proposed by Alun Michael had been a way forward. However, he recognised that the issue would be put to a free vote and that the House of Lords was entitled to come to its own conclusions. Asked to explain how a compromise could be agreed when the issue was about whether to ban hunting with dogs or not, the PMOS said that the compromise approach put forward by Mr Michael involved licensing the sport. We had seen what the reaction of the House of Commons had been. We were now awaiting the outcome of discussions in the House of Lords. We would take the issue one stage at a time. Asked if the Prime Minister would be prepared to vote this time for the Alun Michael compromise if it returned to the House, the PMOS said that he did not think it would be helpful to speculate about what might or might not happen. He had simply been reminding journalists what the Prime Minister’s position was on the this issue. Put to him that the Prime Minister’s position was clear inasmuch as he hadn’t bothered to vote on the issue in the past, the PMOS repeated that we would wait and see how things panned out. There was no point engaging in speculation at this stage.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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