STRONGLY opposing views have been stirred up in South Bucks after Monday's parliamentary vote for an outright ban on hunting.

Penny Little, from Protect Our Wild Animals, celebrated the MPs' ban of what she called "a horrible and despicable act".

She said: "Obviously I am very pleased. I think it was a very exciting day with some spectacular developments but we have been let down too many times to feel that we can even begin to relax.

"It will be extremely difficult for Tony Blair to wriggle out of it this time and I think he has run out of options."

Mrs Little, who lives near Thame, was brought up in Leicestershire and can remember as a three-year-old asking her mother what was happening when they saw a hunt.

"She told me they were going to chase foxes and I can remember feeling then it was wrong. I have been an active campaigner for more than 20 years and I have filmed many hunts and seen the distress and chaos they cause," she added.

However, David Lidington, Conservative MP for Aylesbury, believed the outright ban was wrong.

He said: "I have always voted against a ban on fox hunting. I think it is an unjustified restriction on individual liberties and the evidence shows a ban on hunting would not benefit animal welfare.

"There is a much greater risk of the fox suffering through shooting and snaring than through hunting."

It was claimed in a survey carried out last week, 52 per cent of the people questioned thought the Government should take into account the views of the House of Lords if they chose to amend the Bill.

The ICM poll commissioned by the Countryside Alliance found the remaining 48 per cent either didn't know or thought the House of Lords should be ignored.

Simon Hart, Director of the Campaign for Hunting, believed this sent a message to the Government that it must not facilitate the use of the Parliament Act on the Bill.

He said: "The Commons has voted to ban hunting on the basis of prejudice and discrimination.

"We remain confident the Lords will amend the Bill to reflect principle and evidence, acting in the best interests of animal welfare and rural communities."