DESPITE a huge vote to ban all hunting with dogs in the House of Commons last night, commentators were today suggesting that a compromise may still be on the cards to save fox hunting under new, tight regulations.
MPs - including Prime Minister Tony Blair - voted for an outright ban by a majority of 211 and the House of Lords will vote today (Tuesday). The Lords blocked a ban in the last parliament but has since been much reformed, with many hereditary peers losing their seats.
Although the Commons vote is seen by most people (and many MPs) as the death knell of fox hunting, insiders still believe the Government - anxious to avoid yet another confrontation with rural voters - wants to push forward with a so-called "third way" which would ban hare coursing and stag hunting but would allow fox hunting to continue under strict controls.
A Government statement on future moves has been promised before Easter.