Rumours reached me a week or so ago that I would - along with some other Labour MPs - be targeted at the General Election by pro-hunt supporters. This is confirmed in an excellent piece of investigative journalism from the Independent.
Given that (a) I wasn't in Parliament in 2004 to vote for the hunting ban, although of course I would have backed it; (b) there are plenty of seats more marginal than mine; and (c) there aren't any hunts in my urban constituency, I regard this as something of a badge of honour. I can only assume I've been singled out in recognition of my support for animal welfare issues during my five years in Parliament, or my online efforts to promote http://www.backtheban.com/.
Or is it because my Tory opponent has been identified as someone who will vote to bring back fox-hunting? I've seen an email response she sent to a constituent a while ago on the topic, saying that she totally supported the Tory pledge to give MPs a free vote on the issue in the new parliament, but she 'would wait and see what her constituents thought' before deciding how to vote. (NB 75% of the British public opposes the ban).
My understanding, however, and I've seen some of the background material on this, is that Vote-OK have only given their backing to candidates who have pledged to vote for the return of fox-hunting. Perhaps someone could ask Adeela if that's true?
PS Easy way to ask - www.keepcrueltyhistory.com.