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Rock legend Brian May journeys to Keynsham and Midsomer Norton to back Dan Norris campaign

Founding member of rock band Queen, Brian May, will visit Keynsham and Midsomer Norton this Saturday, 24 April.

The legendary guitarist, a passionate campaigner for animal welfare, wants to publicly show his support for Dan Norris's campaign to be elected as North East Somerset MP.

At a public meeting in The Royal British Legion Club, Charlton Road, Keynsham on Saturday morning (11 am), May will give a talk about his reasons for backing Dan's election campaign, where the anti-hunt campaigner Labour man faces an extremely close battle to win the ultra-marginal constituency against hunt-supporting Tory candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg.

May will field questions from his audience before spending time chatting with people who attend the free event and signing autographs. All are welcome. He will then travel to the south of the constituency to chat with people at Midsomer Norton High Street coffee shop, Shirell's (2pm).

Dan, who has been the local MP in North East Somerset since being elected in 1997 has been the target of physical attacks from pro-hunters - most notably on the eve of the introduction of the ban on hunting when he and a female member of his staff were attacked when they arrived in Badminton, Gloucestershire, to take part in a TV debate.

Brian May last week launched his major new campaign to try to prevent the return of legalised blood sports to the British Countryside.

The 'SAVE-ME' campaign - named after May's song, a world-wide hit record for Queen - calls on the British public to consider how their vote will affect the welfare of animals; and in particular fox-hunting, stag hunting and hare-coursing.

The campaign is non-aligned politically, but is a direct response to the announcement from David Cameron that if the Tories are elected they will, in the first month of their term, introduce a free vote in the House to repeal the Hunting Act, 2004, which made it illegal to hunt wild animals using dogs.

The Save-Me campaign is asking members of the public to support the cause of animals by signing up at www.save-me.org.uk and aims to recruit a million supporters by polling day. Supporters will be encouraged to ask their local candidates to make a clear commitment, for or against fox-hunting before polling day - and to declare which way they will vote if there is a Commons vote to repeal the Hunting Act.

Speaking ahead of the launch, May said: It's clear that the vast majority of the British public are animal lovers, and abhor the cruelty of hunting with packs of dogs. That is why the Hunting Act was democratically passed as law. We believe that every voter in this election has the right to know whether their candidate will vote for the demolition of this act. We will urge everyone to support only those candidates who commit to voting against the repeal, keeping the law in place, and ultimately banning cruelty from our countryside.

“I know Dan has worked bravely on animal welfare issues for years, first campaigning for a ban on hunting, and continuing to stand up for what is right, despite physical attacks and pro-hunt intimidation.

“By contrast his Tory opponent is a hunt supporter, whom it has been reported is benefiting from an influx of people from The Countryside Alliance, outside the constituency, to help with his campaign.”

All who sign up as supporters to the SAVE-ME campaign will receive a personalised message from Brian May the day before the election, confirming the position of their local candidates on the fox-hunting issue - information that will help them decide how they will vote.

May added: “Our aim is to give animals a voice. We sense that many people are bored and unconvinced by the current debate between parties, and might simply not bother to vote. We hope this initiative will inspire everyone to come out and vote this time - perhaps for the first time - for decent treatment for animals. We will support any candidate from any party who commits to keeping the law against hunting in place. ”

Many other well-known names have already committed to the Save-Me campaign, and will be publicly declaring their support in the coming weeks.

Dan Norris said: “Chasing and killing animals for fun is, frankly, uncivilised. Having worked hard to introduce the ban on hunting I will resist Tory plans to reintroduce the unacceptable cruelty of fox hunting, stag hunting and hare coursing."

www.save-me.org.uk

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