Theresa May will not give MPs a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban after the Conservatives faced a backlash over the controversial policy at the general election, it was confirmed on Monday 3 July.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey told Labour MP Catherine West that the government had no plans to bring forward the free vote "in this session" of the parliament, which is two-years-long. The pledge proved to be one of the most memorable policies in the Tory election manifesto.
A YouGov poll, of more than 1,800 people between 22 and 23 May, found that 36% of voters recalled the so called "dementia tax", 12% highlighted the Tories' pro-Brexit position, 10% mentioned the means testing of the Winter Fuel Allowance, 8% brought up end free school meals in England and 6% said legalising fox hunting was a top Conservative policy.
A separate survey from ComRes, of more than 1,000 people on 11 May, found that a vast majority of respondents (78%) supported keeping the fox hunting ban, which was introduced under the Hunting Act 2004. Former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron was also forced to drop a free vote on fox hunting in 2015.
Cameron made the move after the then 56-strong group of SNP MPs said they would vote against the legislation. The SNP intervention was controversial since they do not normally vote on draft laws which just cover England.
"The idea that the Hunting Act should be repealed has been roundly rejected and the hope now is that we can move on from any notion of repeal or weakening," said Eduardo Gonçalves, the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports.
"The British public believes in compassion and they believe that animals should be protected from persecution. Politicians surely now accept that. It must be time, therefore, that we seek to strengthen and extend those protections."
Confirmation of the fox hunting vote being scrapped comes after there was no mention of the issue in the Queen's Speech.