STOURBRIDGE'S Labour team have been pulling out all the stops in the hunt for extra votes as polling day draws ever closer.
After going head to head on Saturday (May 1) with rivals Margot James (Tory) and Chris Bramall (Lib Dem) in a live debate on Stourbridge's community radio station The 'Bridge - Labour candidate Lynda Waltho, the incumbent MP, was joined by a foxy-looking supporter to highlight her pledge to ensure fox-hunting remains banned.
The furry campaigner stopped off at the station to confront Conservative candidate Margot James about her party's proposal to hold a free vote in Parliament to determine whether to bring back the blood sport, which was outlawed in 2005.
Mrs Waltho, who has been appealing to animal passionate voters not to "let the Tories bring back hunting", said: "The Conservative Party have pledged that if they become the next Government they will hold a new vote to reverse Labour's ban on hunting with dogs. It's one of the first things they'll do if they get in.
"I believe killing for sport is wrong and I am opposed to the Tory plans to bring back hunting. In a recent poll 75 per cent of voters in Britain were in favour of keeping the ban and only 16 per cent wanted to bring it back.”
Margot James later told the News the shock confrontation with Labour’s ‘Mr Fox’ outside St Johns Church was “all part of the democratic process”.
She said: “I wasn’t expecting it, but I was reasonable with them and they were reasonable with me.”
Ms James, who has previously told the News she would “vote to restore the right to hunt foxes” said she has little left to say on the issue.
She added: “It’s something that comes up very rarely with people on the doorstep. I don’t feel it’s an issue of huge importance at the election.
“It would depend on how the legislation was formed as to how I would vote, and on the advice of animal welfare organisations. It’s something I would consider it on its merits.”
When asked if she thought it was acceptable to commit Parliamentary time to overturning a ban that was only introduced five years ago.
She said: “I don’t think it’s a good use of Parliamentary time at the moment; I wouldn’t want to see the same amount of time devoted to reform that was devoted to the original bill.”