Mallalieu: Hunting vote soon please

Martyn Oates
Political editor, South West

image copyrightPA
image captionCountryside Alliance president, Ann Mallalieu, would like a vote on hunting as soon as possible

The Labour peer and QC Baroness Mallalieu dropped in to join us on the Sunday Politics this week.

I'm pretty sure Ann Mallalieu is my only Sunday Politics guest so far who's also featured on Desert Island Discs (where she chose Twist and Shout as her first record).

She is also President of the Countryside Alliance.

So - before we sank our teeth into the weighty topics of health reform and immigration - I asked her about hunting.

More specifically I wanted to know whether she hoped the government would deliver on its pledge to offer a free vote on repealing the hunting ban in this Parliament.

Now, on the face of it, this is a bit like asking Imelda Marcos whether she has a passing interest in footwear.

But - as previously discussed on this blog - it's not as simple as that.

Hunt masters and pro-hunting MPs have made it clear they're far from eager to unleash the present parliamentary intake on this issue.

They fear the Commons as currently composed would vote to retain the ban rather than overturn it.

I put that to Lady Mallalieu: