Lib Dems criticise Conservative hypocrisy on animal welfare

5 Oct 2023

Liberal Democrats at Redcar & Cleveland Council have hit out at local MP Simon Clarke after he described foxhunting as “a lovely example of a community coming together.”

The MP, who recently promoted a motion on goldfish welfare, posted in late 2022 on X (formerly Twitter) that he had "happy childhood memories" of the Great Ayton Boxing Day Fox hunt.

Days after the 'Goldfish' motion, Clarke then reiterated his admiration for the annual fox hunt on Facebook, writing it was a "lovely example" of community engagement.

Lib Dem Cllr Tristan Learoyd, who represents the St Germains ward of Marske, pointed out the glaring double standard after local Conservatives campaigned for an end to animals being given as prizes at fairs.

The "goldfish" motion, which went before Redcar and Cleveland Council was amended by Liberal Democrats who called out hypocrisy and on the government to do more about animal rights. During the amendment, Cllr Dr Learoyd (Lib Dem, Marske) singled out Mr Clarke and Redcar MP Jacob Young for not backing the Kept Animals Bill in June, which would have banned the keeping of primates in small cages.

Cllr Learoyd said:

“All councillors voted to stop live animals being given as prizes at fairs in the borough.

“But Simon Clarke is now saying foxhunting is a good thing.

“I fail to see how chasing a wild animal to its death brings a community together. Even deep in rural areas very few people support foxhunting.

“Tory party commitment to animal welfare now looks very shallow.”



Councillor Tristan Learoyd: 07925 466762

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