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banner Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Police keep hunt protesters apart
Rural lobby keeps up the pressure
Mounted police have been used to separate hunt supporters and anti-hunt protesters outside the Labour conference.

"Mr Prescott, your voice will have ceased long before the sounds of the hunting horn is silenced in the hills and the valleys"

Baroness Mallalieu
On the second day of the Countryside Alliance's conference campaign, large contingents of pro-hunting demonstrators from Wales and the west country gathered to lobby delegates at the Brighton centre.

A clash erupted between around 25 anti-hunt protesters waving a banner saying `Ban Bloodsports', met head on with the country sports campaigners.

Police acted swiftly. Mounted police officers formed a line between the two groups and 50 police officers stood by.

Jeers and cheers

The small group of anti-hunt protesters was marched several hundred yards away from the Countryside Alliance contingent, which jeered and shouted at delegates outside the Brighton centre.

Linda Saunders of Southwick near Brighton was among the anti-hunt protesters moved away from the Brighton centre.

"I am 55 years old and I have been pushed, shoved and kicked, but then what is new. I am English yet I seem to have no democratic right to express my opinion. Whatever Tony Blair says this afternoon will be lies. He will just bow to this lot protesting here today," she said.


Baroness Mallalieu, president of the Countryside Alliance, received huge applause from protesters when she said outside the Brighton centre: "Mr Prescott, your voice will have ceased long before the sounds of the hunting horn is silenced in the hills and the valleys."

She criticised Mr Prescott for pledging to double his efforts to ban foxhunting after seeing what he described as the "contorted faces" of the Countryside Alliance: "That remark was vile, insulting, arrogant and illiberal," she said.

She also attacked the prime minister: "Mr Blair, as you make the finishing touches to your speech, it is not the forces of conservatism that you see before you, it is British people who, unlike you, will never go away.

"There have been some rumours circulating here this week that the Countryside Alliance organised the fuel crisis because the farmers were too stupid to do it themselves.

"But we do not yet control Opec, the oil companies, road hauliers and 93% of the British population," she said.

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See also:

11 Aug 00 | Scotland
Field sports 'crucial' to Highlands
12 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Hunt ban unlikely before election
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