A panel of senior politicians including Lord de Mauley, Angela Smith and Roger Williams has been quizzed by over 130 BASC members.

The meeting took place in the Grand Committee Room of the House of Commons.

The panel included Lord de Mauley, the DEFRA minister responsible for shooting, Angela Smith MP, the Labour shadow minister responsible for shooting and Roger Williams MP, a rural affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, chairman of the All Party Group on Shooting and Conservation, said of its activities: “The All Party Group can go about tackling problems on a cross-party basis, we can hold ministers to account… and the group also allows us to demonstrate the value of shooting to other MPs.”

Roger Williams MP said: “The Liberal Democrats represent many rural constituencies – we realise how important shooting is for the countryside and economy as well… people who shoot really love the countryside and that’s why I’m supportive of BASC and its principles.”

Angela Smith MP said: “I represent a moorland constituency which contains major holdings for the National Trust and Yorkshire Water and grouse shooting. Labour fully recognises shooting as a legitimate activity which brings benefits to the countryside and the economy.”

Lord de Mauley said: “It is vital to acknowledge that shooting is not just a rural issue… shooting provides 74,000 jobs and £2bn to the economy. The contribution of shooting to conservation and biodiversity is also great… as a Conservative minister I will continue to support shooting and those who wish to use firearms safely and legally.”

Speaking after the meeting, BASC chairman Alan Jarrett said: “BASC felt it was important to hold this meeting in Parliament so that our members could hear from and question representatives of the major parties. Identifying where politicians stand on shooting is essential for protecting and promoting our sport. We would urge every shooter to use the BASC election website to email their candidates to ask if they support shooting.”

basc.org.uk