A NORTH-East MP believes hunting with hounds should be consigned to history.

Stockton North Labour MP Frank Cook said: "An outright ban is what most of my constituents and most of the country wants.

"Anything less just means that the cruel practice of hunting and killing wild mammals with dogs would continue and such blood sports have no place in a modern world.

"You can't compromise on cruelty,'' said the politician who revealed that a fox regularly visits the garden of his London home.

"We have the greatest respect for one another,'' Mr Cook said.

Mr Cook decided to speak out following the announcement in the Queen's Speech of a new Government Bill which could see hunting banned before the next General Election.

He claimed: "We have had the bast majority of MPs vote for a ban before, but wrecking tactics in Parliament have blocked legislation. By putting forward this Bill, the Government has given the best opportunity ever of implementing a ban.'