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The justice secretary, Robert Buckland, appeared to rule out giving MPs a free vote on overturning the foxhunting ban if the Conservatives win a majority at the general election.

The controversial offer made by the former prime minister Theresa May in the 2017 Tory manifesto was dropped swiftly after her poor performance at the election. Buckland told Sky News he thought it was unlikely Boris Johnson would revive the controversial issue.

Foxhunting was banned through legislation introduced by the Blair government in 2004.

Buckland said:


I don’t see a return to that at all. I think the agenda has moved on. We are now talking in our own policies about strong animal welfare measures. We are cracking down on issues like live transport. We are dealing with trophy hunting, the keeping of primates as pets.

He added that he believes Johnson has an “authenticity” on environmental issues that is an “important hallmark” of his leadership.

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