"I appreciate the strong feelings that many people have on this issue and I share your concern for ensuring the welfare of all animals. The Prime Minister has said that a majority Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time. In the event of such a vote, I would vote to repeal the Hunting Act. In my view the Act does nothing to protect wild animals and, in many cases, is actually detrimental to animal welfare when other methods of control are deployed, several of which can be indiscriminate. I am sorry if this is not the response you were seeking but I hope you'll appreciate that I have made sure I understand the arguments on both sides before reaching my own conclusion. As people have very strong views about this irrespective of party, there will be a free vote following the debate."