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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 08:00 GMT 09:00 UK
Most Welsh MPs vote for hunt ban
Fox hunting
Any ban will not come into force in Wales and England until 2006
Twenty five of Wales' 40 MPs - all of them Labour - have voted in favour of a ban on hunting with dogs.

All six opposition members in Wales - Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat - voted against, and the remaining nine Labour MPs failed to vote.

Overall, MPs backed the ban in Wales and England 339 - 155, but it will not come into force for nearly two years.

Meanwhile, security is being tightened at Westminster after some protesters broke into the chamber.

The pro-ban lobby can win the vote but they cannot pretend that by stifling the debate and ignoring the existence of alternative views they have won the argument
Lembit Ípik MP

Caerphilly Labour MP Wayne David backed the ban and said it was not fair to dismiss what had happened as an act that had been provoked "by extreme action by parliamentarians".

"It's nothing of the sort," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"What we have seen is democracy, the choice of the people coming through very very clearly.

"I think the Countryside Alliance should accept the rule of law, accept what parliament has said, and take preparation to disbanding hunting."

But Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said the battle was not over.

"There was no surprise the Commons voted in the way the Commons has often voted on this issue, and now we'll have to wait and see what happens in the House of Lords," he said.

"Then, of course, we've got two legal challenges - one to challenge the Parliament Act and one to challenge under the conditions of the Human Rights Act."
How Wales' 40 MPs voted
FOR:
Nick Ainger, Donald Anderson, Kevin Brennan, Chris Bryant, Martin Caton, Wayne David, Denzil Davies, Huw Edwards, Win Griffiths, Peter Hain, David Hanson, Dai Havard, Alan Howarth, Jon Owen Jones, Jackie Lawrence, Alun Michael, Julie Morgan, Paul Murphy, Albert Owen, John Smith, Llew Smith, Mark Tami, Don Touhig, Alan Williams, Betty Williams.
All the Welsh MPs who voted for are Labour
AGAINST:
Lembit Ípik, (Lib Dem), Roger Williams (Lib Dem), Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru), Adam Price (Plaid), Simon Thomas (Plaid), Hywel Williams (Plaid).
DID NOT VOTE:
Kim Howells, Paul Flynn, Gareth Thomas, Ann Clwyd, Huw Irranca-Davies, Chris Ruane, Hywel Francis , Ian Lucas, Martyn Jones.
All the Welsh MPs who did not vote are Labour

Any ban will not come into force until July 2006 after a suggested amendment to the bill was passed by MPs by 342 votes to 15.

The UK government originally wanted to delay the enforcement of the ban until November 2006 to enable people working in hunting to readjust and for dogs to be rehomed.

During the debate, Cardiff South and Penarth MP and Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael urged the House of Lords to behave democratically once they received the bill.

He reiterated the government's intention to use the Parliament Act to push the bill through if it was rejected by peers.

"I still hope that peers will engage with the Hunting Bill this time around," he said.

"If they fail to do so the only way in which the matter can be properly resolved at this stage is for the will of this House to prevail under the provision of the Parliament Act."

Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Ípik, one of the leaders of the group seeking a compromise solution, said the stalemate between the two Houses was an indication there was something "seriously wrong" with the bill.

The MP for Montgomeryshire said: "The pro-ban lobby can win the vote but they cannot pretend that by stifling the debate and ignoring the existence of alternative views they have won the argument."

Extra police are guarding the Commons chamber after five pro-hunt protesters were able to burst in while MPs debated the ban.

Commons Speaker Michael Martin told MPs it seemed likely the men had been given help to gain access by an insider and a police inquiry is under way.

Eight men were arrested on suspicion of forgery, burglary with intent to commit criminal damage and violent disorder.


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