Hunting the Tory Fox
The SNP intervenes in a very English dispute
For a party so desperate to leave Westminster, the SNP is developing a knack of making waves at the seat of British democracy. Having previously indicated it was an English-only matter on which the party would not vote, the SNP leadership is now saying it will join with Labour to vote against moves to change the ban on fox hunting south of the border. SNP Westminster chief Angus Robertson indicated this would remind the Government just how slender its majority was.
Such a move is likely to prompt consternation among Conservative backbenchers angry about the influence of Scottish MPs over England-only matters. But this is unlikely to bother Robertson and his leader Nicola Sturgeon, who know that their party needs to show Scottish voters it can deliver on its promise to check the ambitions of a Conservative administration.
As her party gears up for a showdown with the Tories, Sturgeon has been visiting London for a breakfast with business leaders. The Scottish First Minister is continuing a charm offensive designed to improve relations after the independence referendum. Sturgeon got a boost ahead of the meeting when a new report showed 2014 had been a record year for inward investment in spite of uncertainty generated by the referendum. Perfect foil as the FM looks to outfox any doubters she might meet down south.