Yesterday the Conservative manifesto was published and, as Theresa May had promised, it contained a commitment to “a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act”. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have also published their manifestos this week and you can find our analysis of their rural content on our website.

Meanwhile another May, Brian, has re-entered the political fray. For those not familiar with his work Mr May is a veteran rock star who has thrown huge amounts of money at the political process in the last decade or so. The single most obvious outcome of these interventions is that they have been a complete and utter failure. Our Chairman, Simon Hart, tells a story of canvassing in his local town when he was first challenging to become the local MP. A shopkeeper he knew told him that bizarrely he had just been visited by a Queen tribute band who were campaigning against him, but it was not a ‘tribute band’ it was Brian May himself who had travelled to a little town in West Wales to campaign for the sitting Labour MP against Simon. Of course that MP lost as has nearly every MP and candidate Brian has supported as he has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on direct donations and advertising. In fact any candidate approached by Brian May would be well advised to run for the hills rather than receive his support, which is one of the reasons it is so strange that a small number of Conservative MPs have been lured into his web.

Celebrity endorsement does not have a great recent track record as far as elections are concerned, but the really obvious problem for Conservative MPs should be that Brian May quite clearly hates Conservatives. Unsurprisingly he is also a great supporter of the discredited ‘Conservatives Against Fox Hunting’ which we have already revealed is funded exclusively by anti-Conservative donors.

Brian May confirmed his vehement dislike of his namesake Theresa this week in a Guardian article where he wrote that:  “Theresa May is in the middle of one of the most cynical bits of manoeuvring in British parliamentary history, trying to increase her majority and become a virtual dictator, at the expense of the country’s best interests…This is gross irresponsibility, a monstrously selfish and dishonest act, and Theresa May should be called to account for it”.

There are, and always have been, Conservative MPs who are uncomfortable with hunting and as the party expands further into suburban and urban constituencies this is no surprise. None of them should, however, be taken in by the cynical and obvious tactics of the animal rights movement which is focussed solely on attacking rural communities and other minorities. The next time Mr May offers himself up for a selfie any self-respecting politician should run a mile.

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