Hunt demo disrupts primary's celebration day

1st October 2004 at 01:00
A Northamptonshire school was targeted by hunt supporters when a Labour MP opened its pound;200,000 learning centre. Thirty placard-waving members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, with hounds, demonstrated outside Nassington primary as Phil Hope, the East Northants MP who backs the ban, arrived.

In the fracas that followed, his car collided with a horse-box driven by a demonstrator. The MP said it was unacceptable to protest outside a school.

"They managed to offend everyone who was there for such a nice event. I hope the children were not too frightened," said Mr Hope.

Paul Archer, head, said: "We were very sorry some members of our community felt they needed to protest outside our school and attempt to spoil our special day."

Jane Thorpe-Codman, whose son Marcus is a pupil at Nassington, demonstrated but kept her son off school on the day. "I didn't want him to be photographed with Mr Hope," she said.

"The children were not frightened. I am a huge supporter of the school and have helped towards the learning centre."

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