BEST PHOTO (ATTACHED) OF HIM TAKEN TODAY BEFORE THE MEET
The bloodsport-loving ex-Ukip leader grinned with a pre-11am pint as the debate rages over hunting with dogs.
Nigel Farage has become this year’s first major politician to break cover and join crowds at the Boxing Day Hunt.
The bloodsport-loving ex-Ukip leader enjoyed a pre-11am pint in wellies and lurid yellow corduroy trousers near his Kent home.
Boxing Day is still a celebration for hunters despite fox hunting being outlawed a decade ago under Labour.
Hunts like today’s are legal under several circumstances including, for example, if dogs follow a ‘scent’ not a fox, or if two dogs are used to "flush" a fox out from undergrowth.
But hunts are constrained and campaigners like Mr Farage and David Cameron want to scrap the ban, despite 84% opposing fox hunting in a recent Ipsos MORI poll.
Grinning Mr Farage was spotted with a plastic pint cup at 10.45am today at the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt‘s meeting at Chiddingstone Castle, Kent.
He is a regular spectator at Boxing Day hunts and in 2014 accused Labour of "cynically trying to turn the issue into class warfare".
Other politicians are less keen for their love of bloodsports to be widely known.
A rare photo emerged last year of a fox-hunting David Cameron, who quit the sport when he became Tory leader in 2005.
And a rather rude picture on social media today suggested not everyone welcomed Mr Farage with open arms.
The annual celebration of hunting reignited the row over Labour’s Hunting Act.
Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, said the ban was a "political" attack on people perceived as being "posh and privileged".
He said the law unfairly singled out hunt-lovers while allowing foxes to be killed in other ways.
But Eduardo Goncalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, told the BBC: "I’m sure fraudsters and burglars find some of the laws against them rather inconvenient."
The League claims huntsmen and women have broken the law 200,000 times since the ban despite just a handful of prosecutions.
Mr Bonner dismissed the claim as "entirely irresponsible".
Shadow environment secretary Rachael Maskell said it was "absolutely clear" the British public do not want a return to hunting.
"The Tories must not try and sneak hunting back on to the parliamentary agenda when it is so clear that people up and down this country don’t support it," she said.
Mr Farage’s appearance comes hours after he attacked the Archbishop of Canterbury on Christmas Day.
He tweeted: "Merry Christmas. Ignore all negative messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury and have a great day!"
Archbishop Justin Welby’s messages of goodwill had included: "Jesus came to us homeless and in a manger. This Christmas please pray with me for the poor, hungry and homeless, here and abroad."
But he sparked Mr Farage’s ire by saying 2016 had left a future that looked "less predictable and certain".
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ManchesterHuntSabs
You can also donate using the link on our web page – www.nwhsa.org.uk
Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports