I have received a reply from Steve Webb, who is responsible for the Manifesto. No commitment to support shooting is in the current draft. I imagine that the BASC is wrong in their interpretation of events at conference.
John (by email)
John Leech MP has responded to my recent exclusive, Withington MP set to defy party on blood sports, with the reassuring email above. Knowing the Lib Dems as I do, this is as I suspected. John rightly points out elsewhere that all parties have their blood sport supporters, but it’s still disappointing that senior figures are so cosy with the shooting lobby that the British Association for Shooting and Conservation could be left with the impression that the Lib Dems will include a commitment to shooting in their manifesto.
Even so, it is extremely unlikely that blood sports supporters will ever dominate the Liberal Democrats. And should the worse happen it’s good to know that we can rely on John to pay no heed to party policy in this area, manifesto commitment or not.
‘Well Mr Newton, I was there and I heard it. I’ve heard nothing since to suggest that the party has gone back on this promise.’
– Judith Howell, BASC Political & Policy Officer, responding to the above.