Following months of Countryside Alliance campaigning the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP, has contacted the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) requesting that they refrain from using the official Conservative Party logo and limit their operations. Last November former Solicitor General Sir Edward Garnier MP wrote to the Party Chairman on behalf of the Countryside Alliance raising concerns about both CAWF and the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (CAFH). Both groups are run by Ms Lorraine Platt. Ms Platt is a Trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), a group that has twice been censured by the Charity Commission for campaigning against the Conservative Party.
News of Sir Edward’s letter was broke by The Times last December: Tories urged to sever ties with secretive anti-hunting group. At the time Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, Tim Bonner, called for the Party to take action to prevent the misuse of the Party logo. Animal Welfare Consultant at the Countryside Alliance, James Barrington, also raised concerns about the group on the Bright Blue blog: Our man-made countryside requires wildlife management. Last month Head of Shooting at the Countryside Alliance Liam Stokes raised his concerns with the Shooting Times regarding a report that was published by CAWF calling for the Party to “commit to a review of the industry of shooting live birds for sport shooting”: Anti-shooting proposals in “Tory” group manifesto.
A number of Conservative MP’s have supported the Countryside Alliance’s four month long campaign to ensure that the Conservative Party logo is not misused by a group publishing recommendations that would be detrimental to shooting and the countryside. In addition to securing the support of Sir Edward Garnier MP and Simon Hart MP, the Countryside Alliance also secured the support of former Shadow Animal Welfare Minister Andrew Rosindell MP. Last week Mr Rosindell stated:
“I am grateful for the Countryside Alliance for bringing this important matter relating to the misuse of the Party logo to my attention.
“Clearly it’s not right for groups that are not affiliated with the Conservative Party to imply that they are. Now that the Party has made clear that this group is not affiliated they need to request that all official Party logos are removed from their website and publications. If action is not taken then it would send out a worrying a message.
“I am a passionate believer in improving animal welfare standards, as is this Conservative Government. However, the language and aims promoted by both of these groups appear to be more in keeping with the animal rights agenda promoted by the Labour Party.”
Commenting upon the Party Chairman’s response Liam Stokes commented:
“The Countryside Alliance have been pushing for months for it to be made clear to CAWF that they should not be misusing the official Conservative Party logo.
“We are pleased with the Party Chairman’s response. Clearly he takes this matter seriously and was alive to the dangerous precedent that could have been established if the Party had not taken appropriate action.
“It is now important that the Outreach Team at Central Office work with CAWF to ensure that the official Party logo is removed from their website, publications and mugs. The Countryside Alliance will monitor this situation closely.”
Only a matter of weeks ago, founder and Director of CAWF published a social media post stating that CAWF representatives had met with Animal Aid representatives. A number Animal Aid employees have criminal convictions for breaking the law in order to promote their extreme animal rights agenda.
Lorraine Platt refuses to reveal the identity of the mystery “animal welfare charity” that accounts (published on Companies House) show has donated tens of thousands of pounds to her groups. Speculation continues to grow regarding the identity of the charity, with many believing that ex Queen guitarist Brian May is the benefactor. There are a large number of photos of Mr May and Ms Platt together, the relationship appears to be close with Ms Platt often referring to Mr May as “Bri”. In 2010 Brian May established an animal welfare charity, Save Me, which is focused on campaigning against fox hunting and the badger cull. In 2015 Mr May stated, “Lorraine Platt speaks up for the good guys in the Conservative Party.” Previous to this, he described the Blue Foxes as “His heroes.”