Anti-fox hunting group starts petition calling on Northants MP Andrea Leadsom to resign her role as Environment Secretary

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom was appointed Environment Secretary by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom was appointed Environment Secretary by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May

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A campaign group dedicated to keeping the fox hunting ban has started a petition calling for south Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom to resign her position as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mrs Leadsom, who was appointed in Theresa May’s cabinet last week, has been criticised by the Keep The Ban group because she has expressed her support for a repeal of the fox hunting ban.

Speaking during the recent Tory leadership election campaign, Mrs Leadsom said a “proper licensed regime” could be brought in after the lifting of the ban.

Talking to ITV News she said: “I would absolutely commit to holding a vote to repeal the hunting ban. It has not proven to be in the interests of animal welfare whatsoever.

“I do believe we need a proper licensed regime which works much better and is more focused on animal welfare.”

A spokesman for the Keep The Ban (KTB) group said it held “deep concerns” about Mrs Leadsom’s suitability to be Environment Secretary.

A petition set up by KTB calling on Mrs Leadsom to resign states: “Keep The Ban Campaign Call upon Andrea Leadsom MP To stand down as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

“Andrea Leadsom is well known for her opposition to fox hunting ban. During her own leadership bid for the conservative party Andrea Leadsom stated she would repeal the 2004 huntng ban as soon as practicable.

“Keep The Ban believes this to be appalling coming from a person that’s role is specifically to look after wildlife in this country.

“We demand that she does the decent thing and resign her position.”