The rebel peers asked the Government to insert the smart ban amendment. Ministers ‘refused to compromise’ and so the rebels talked the Bill down and stopped it. The decision follows sustained coverage of the issue by the Mail.
It means the Bill can only pass if the Government allocates additional Parliamentary time – something the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, or Defra, has failed to commit to. Wildlife experts attacked the Government for the missed opportunity to address the horrors of big game hunting.
Amy Dickman, professor of wildlife conservation at Oxford University, said: ‘It’s shameful that the Government would rather this Bill fails than compromise and accept an amendment which their own advisers supported, as well as over 150 conservation experts.
‘The Government seems to have been heavily influenced by fundamentalist animal rights activists throughout this entire process.’
The High Commissioners of five African nations which are home to most of the endangered animals thanked the rebel peers for listening to their concerns.
A joint statement from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe said: ‘We are grateful to the peers who presented well-researched arguments, based on scientific evidence, in support of our regional position.’
In March, Lineker was told to stick to football after signing a letter to The Times along with other celebrities backing a blanket ban.
He said that it would be ‘a crushing blow to democracy’ if not enough MPs turned up to pass the measure. His fellow signatories included Richard Curtis, Dame Joanna Lumley and Liam Gallagher.