Brian May has become embroiled in a bitter row about proposed changes to fox hunting laws.

The Queen guitarist is an animal welfare campaigner and appeared on BBC’s Newsnight to debate the issue with the Countryside Alliance’s welfare consultant Jim Barrington, which ended in the musician calling Jim’s group “a bunch of lying b******s”.

Brian said: “I think it is a very underhanded act I’m afraid because [David] Cameron for years has promised a free vote. He’s now really realised that this probably wouldn’t result in what he wants, so very quickly… this thing has been put together as a way of circumventing the normal democratic process, so you introduce a little modification to the act, but this modification actually disables the whole hunting act.

“Effectively, this is repeal under another name and I think that’s a very Machiavellian, rather inexcusable way of behaving.”

At present, farmers are allowed to flush out foxes with the help of two dogs, but MPs are set to vote on whether the dog limit should be scrapped.

Brian May
Brian May is a committed animal welfare campaigner (Yui Mok/PA)

Brian went on: “There is no justification for the hunting of foxes on the grounds of control of foxes. They breed them to hunt, it’s all about people out there trying to catch foxes for fun, they like causing pain and this is what Cameron is endorsing.”

He added: “Foxes are not really causing any damage. In fact, most of the farmers that I know are more concerned about the damage that’s caused by hunts during trespass. They get their pets killed, they get their children terrorised.”

As Jim tried to defend the vote and the Countryside Alliance’s stance, the debate ended with Brian saying: “I think you’re a bunch of lying b******s.”