PMQsTim Bonner, Director of Campaigns, writes: “Towards the end of a heated Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday Labour MP John Spellar stood to take advantage of a rare opportunity to put a question to David Cameron. Mr Spellar represents the wholly urban constituency of Warley in the heart of the West Midlands so it would have been no surprise if he had asked the Prime Minister about youth unemployment, the cost of living, education, the NHS or any number of other issues that affect his constituents on a day to day basis. Mr Spellar, however, had his mind on far more important issues: not for him the mundane, he wanted the answer to the big political question: did the Prime Minister still want to get rid of the fox hunting (sic) ban? 

Of course we should have known. Nothing is more important to the regulars in the Perry Hill Tavern than the method deployed to kill a fox. I am sure the debate about the relative merits of gun, snare and dog rage nightly across the Black Country, but Mr Spellar’s colleagues did not seem convinced. They spent most of the session shouting themselves hoarse, but seemed to recognise the crassness of Mr Spellar’s intervention as much as those on the benches opposite. The House went almost silent. Mr Cameron responded that the coalition agreement included a free vote on repeal, The Speaker called the next question and noisy hostilities resumed. Could it be that Labour backbenchers have finally realised that their obsession with hunting makes them look more out of touch than the people they want to label toffs?

Unlikely I know, but perhaps not impossible