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Is everything in disarray at the League Against Cruel Sports?



According to a report in The Telegraph, the League Against Cruel Sports are in disorder after their CEO, Andy Knott, quit “over Labour’s “betrayal” on their pledge to ban hunting.”

 

On his Twitter bio Knott currently describes himself as “Former CEO of LACS. Booted out under Article 8.2 - ‘not interested in furthering League’s Objects!’."


He is publicly tweeting about the fact that he has now launched legal action against the charity and its former chairman – and prospective MP for North East Somerset and Hanham, Dan Norrisclaiming that Labour “asked me to stay silent whilst they u turned on closing hunting loopholes”. Norris is also currently the Labour Metro Mayor for the West of England.



Indeed, he has even tweeted out the Telegraph article reporting on his legal action, stating: “This is what goes on behind the scenes at LACS. In over 6 years of coaching the Trustees, most now resigned, I don’t think any ever learned a thing about hunting, good governance or campaigning. All they ever wanted to do was play along with @UKLabour.”


The crisis might well prove a problem for their former chairman Dan Norris as he tries to take Jacob Rees-Mogg’s seat in the west country. According to the Telegraph, Knott has been served “with legal papers which allege bullying, harassment, and victimisation of a whistleblower”, and that it’s alleged that Norris personally asked Mr Knott not to criticise Labour for backing down. This has caused some people to question the decision to select him as the Labour candidate whilst he faces these serious allegations.

Dan Norris has been served “with legal papers which allege bullying, harassment, and victimisation of a whistleblower”


But the whole situation will, of course, cause difficulties for the League themselves as well. While their main focus is on hunting, including the banning of trail hunting and stag hunting, they are also rabid campaigners against grouse shooting. Every August their muster their motley troops away from the south of England and up to the grouse moors of the uplands where they illegally disrupt grouse shoots and trespass on private land, destroying any traps or grit boxes which they come across, and making it impossible for gamekeepers to do their jobs.

 

The League was one of the sponsors of the petition to ban driven grouse shooting, and submitted written evidence when it was discussed in parliament in June 2021.

 

With all this infighting, and allegations about behaviour both within the charity and the Labour Party, serious questions must be asked about what’s really going on at this charity. Could the future of the League be in jeopardy?

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