A PERSISTENT and vociferous minority within the Labour party is suggesting that it might once again be a good idea to concentrate on banning hunting, despite the fact that less than just two per cent of the public agree.

The Government should reflect carefully on its priorities for the last months of this Parliament.

A hunting ban is an obsession with many Labour backbenchers, but outside the Commons it hardly registers as an issue.

To the vast majority of the population whose wish list is for good hospitals, safer streets and better schools, more time spent on hunting will provoke an outbreak of despair and in the countryside the reaction would be much stronger.

Hundreds of thousands of people are prepared to actively campaign against such legislation and the politicians who support it.

What sensible Government would invite that in the run up to a general election?

Banning hunting is not the easy option for Government it could have huge political consequences. Through their obsession with hunting, backbench MPs are making their Government look ridiculous. For their own sake, and that of the country, they would be well advised to concentrate on issues about which the electorate actually cares.

Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance