Tory claims are 'lip service' says Martin Salter

Labour’s angling spokesman Martin Salter has this week challenged the Conservative party to retain the rod licence should they form the next government.

The Reading West MP was reacting to comments by Tory leader David Cameron in last week’s interview with Angling Times, in which he hinted that the Conservatives would look closely at whether to keep the annual levy. He accused Mr Cameron of using the interview to pay ‘pre-election lip service’ to angling.

“Abolishing the rod licence would mean stripping £24 million or 70 per cent from the Environment Agency’s fishery budget. This means no restocking, dirtier rivers and a bleak future for Britain’s three million anglers. The Tories have got a long way to go before they can match Labour’s commitment to angling and it is worrying that they clearly still have the future of the rod licence on their agenda.” Mr Cameron said in last week’s interview that the Conservatives would have ‘a proper conversation’ about the future of the rod licence if they win the next election.