BASC members quiz MPs on shooting
More than 130 BASC members quizzed a panel of senior politicians on shooting at a meeting in the Grand Committee Room of the House of Commons.
The panel included:
• Lord de Mauley, the Defra Minister responsible for shooting
• Angela Smith MP, the Labour shadow Minister responsible for shooting
• Roger Williams MP, a rural affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, chairman of the All Party Group on Shooting and Conservation, for which BASC provides the secretariat, spoke about the work of the group. He said: “The All Party Group can go about tackling problems on a cross-party basis, we can hold ministers to account… and the group also allows us to demonstrate the value of shooting to other MPs.”
Roger Williams MP spoke about his party’s support for the countryside and shooting. He said: “The Liberal Democrats represent many rural constituencies – we realise how important shooting is for the countryside and economy as well… people who shoot really love the countryside and that’s why I’m supportive of BASC and its principles.”
Angela Smith MP said: “I represent a moorland constituency which contains major holdings for the National Trust and Yorkshire Water and grouse shooting. Labour fully recognises shooting as a legitimate activity which brings benefits to the countryside and the economy.”
Lord de Mauley said: “It is vital to acknowledge that shooting is not just a rural issue… shooting provides 74,000 jobs and £2bn to the economy. The contribution of shooting to conservation and biodiversity is also great… as a Conservative Minister I will continue to support shooting and those who wish to use firearms safely and legally.”
After the question session BASC Chairman Alan Jarrett said: "BASC felt it was important to hold this meeting in Parliament so that our members could hear from and question representatives of the major parties. Identifying where politicians stand on shooting is essential for protecting and promoting our sport. We would urge every shooter to use the BASC election website to e-mail their candidates to ask if they support shooting. This can be accessed from the home page of the BASC website at www.basc.org.uk."
Notes to editors:
Two photographs are available to download from http://photos.marfordmill.com