You are the champions: Queen guitarist Brian May thanks our readers for opposition to fox-hunting
PUBLISHED: 10:36 20 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:11 20 July 2015
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Dartford MP Gareth Johnson also singled out for praise
QUEEN legend Brian May has thanked the readers of the Gravesend Reporter, Bromley Times and Bexley Times for their opposition to fox-hunting.
In a letter to the three papers, the guitarist, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, who is a longstanding campaigner against fox-hunting, said: “I would like to say thank you via your letters page to all your readers who wrote to their MP in advance of the proposed and subsequently abandoned vote on fox hunting.
“In the end, the Government decided not to press ahead with their thinly-disguised attack on the Hunting Act, and although it has been reported in some quarters that this was due to parliamentary politics, I and Team Fox know that it was down to the huge dissatisfaction from the general public over plans to relax the legislation on fox hunting.
“Many MPs received more than 1,000 emails within three days demonstrating how important animal welfare remains to this country. The resulting swing of MPs’ intent guaranteed us a win even without the addition of the SNP vote. So in effect, it truly was the will of the British public that won the day.
“However, translating that will into the victory we attained was due to the good faith and hard work of many people.”
Mr May, who founded the animal welfare organisation Save Me, also praised Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, who changed his stance because of his constituents’ strong feelings.
“I would particularly like to thank Mr Johnson, who indicated that he was going to vote against the proposals,” Mr May added.
“I have learned from my time inside Parliament lobbying on animal welfare that it is still hard for MPs to go against their own leadership’s plans, even when it is a free vote.
“Gareth was incredibly brave to stand up for our foxes, especially under real pressure from the pro-hunt lobby. So a big thank you, and I’m sure your constituents will thank you as well for a Hunting Act which today remains intact.”