MPs at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth pledged their support for shooting and country sports last week. Peter Ainsworth MP, shadow secretary of state for the Environment and Rural Affairs, praised the role of those who shoot in promoting conservation and tackling climate change.

Party leader David Cameron also committed himself strongly to former leader Michael Howard?s pledge to overturn the hunting ban. ?I?m in favour of the freedom to hunt, I think the law was a great mistake,? he said. ?We should give the Commons the chance to think again in Government time. People said the law would look a complete imbecile and it does.?

At a Conservative fringe event, “Do the Conservatives love the countryside?” shadow minister for agriculture and rural affairs Jim Paice told an audience that the countryside had never been so desperate for a change of Government, saying Labour had never understood its dynamism. The Tories, he said, recognised that the rural environment was forever changing and wanted policies to reflect this and enable communities to respond accordingly. As well as hosting the fringe meeting on climate change and shooting where Peter Ainsworth pledged his support, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation tried also to introduce game to as many delegates as possible.