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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Hunt protest in Blair's village
Hunt protest
Pro-hunt campaigners gathered on Trimdon Village green
Pro-hunt campaigners have mounted another protest close to Prime Minister Tony Blair's County Durham home.

Members of the South Durham Hunt gathered on Trimdon Village green in full hunting regalia, accompanied by horses and hounds.

They were planning to protest as Mr Blair carried out a Saturday surgery for his constituents.

Earlier, other pro-hunt campaigners were outside the prime minister's house a mile away in Trimdon Colliery.

The demonstrations followed Friday's protest when more than 150 people gathered near Mr Blair's detached home Myrobella House.

They are opposed to plans to ban hunting with dogs.

At 1000 BST on Saturday, about 50 members of the hunt were gathered on the green along with members of the Countryside Alliance.

Additional officers

Alliance spokesman James Bates told BBC News Online: "Mr Blair knows we are not going to go away.

"We met with him for about 20 minutes of Friday, which we felt was very encouraging.

"This protest in Trimdon is a prelude to a much larger demonstration planned for London on Wednesday.

"Mr Blair and his government know we are not going to give up."

Durham Police have again drafted in additional officers to monitor the demonstration.

Mark Shotton, master of the hunt, said: "No one at the heart of government seems to understand the number of jobs that will be lost as a result of the ban or that it will destroy a way of life."

MPs are planning to vote on the bill to outlaw hunting with dogs in Parliament on Wednesday.

If it is passed the ban could take up to two years to implement.

But pro-hunters have vowed to step up their fight and save hunting ahead of the next General Election.




SEE ALSO:
Hunt protest outside Blair's home
10 Sep 04  |  England
Hunting ban to be debated by MPs
09 Sep 04  |  Politics
Hunt debate 'threatens key bills'
05 Sep 04  |  Politics


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