THE hunting ban remains a red-hot issue for some people, as is evidenced by a debate that has been raging on our letters pages in recent weeks.

Hunting is always seen as one of those black and white issues – you are either for or against it and there is no grey area in the middle.

We think there is a grey area and it is where the majority of people in the country sit. For most people, the hunting issue is not even on the radar. They are worried about keeping their jobs, paying the mortgage and putting food on the table.

We would have assumed, given the parlous state of the economy, that hunting was a long way down the political ‘to do’ list.

The Conservatives proved us wrong yesterday as shadow justice minister Edward Garnier talked of a “gathering sense of support” for a repeal of the 2005 hunting ban. He may well have meant a gathering sense of seats to be won at the next election.

We are not going to wade into the debate surrounding the rights and wrongs of the hunting ban. But it strikes us as an odd issue for a major political party to be raising at a time of economic crisis.

When the Government has signed up to a worldwide spending of £1 trillion of our money to beat the recession we think most people want to hear what the Tories would be doing differently if they were in power – as they may well be within the year.

The hunting ban is clearly an issue that will need to be dealt with by whoever wins the next election.

But now is not the right time for this debate.