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Queen guitarist Brian May praises Dartford MP Gareth Johnson for reversing stance on foxhunting

Queen guitarist Brian May has thanked Dartford MP Gareth Johnson for reversing his stance on a vote to relax the Hunting Act before it was delayed in Parliament. 

The musician praised Mr Johnson in a letter for being "incredibly brave" after he indicated he would vote against proposals following pressure from voters.

The 68-year-old is a prominent animal welfare campaigner having previously challenged the government against badger culling.

Queen guitarist Brian May
Queen guitarist Brian May

Mr May wrote: "I would particularly like to thank your MP Gareth Johnson who I know indicated that he was going to vote against the proposals.

"I have learned from my time inside Parliament lobbying on animal welfare that it is still hard for MPs to go against their own leadership’s plans, even when it is a free vote.

"Gareth was incredibly brave to stand up for our foxes especially under real pressure from the pro-hunt lobby.

Gareth Johnson MP
Gareth Johnson MP

"So a big thank you, and I'm sure your constituents will thank you as well for a Hunting Act which today remains intact."

Anti-hunt campaigner Natalie Boorman, of Watling Street, Dartford, collected more than 2,500 signatures calling for Mr Johnson to change his mind after he expressed a wish to repeal the legislation.

The MP announced he had changed his mind shortly before the vote was delayed when it emerged the SNP would join Labour to oppose the free vote.

But Mr Johnson has reiterated he will vote against proposals when they are brought back to the House of Commons.

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