Chris Williamson MP, formerly a trustee at the League Against Cruel Sports, has made public statements about the League, both on his own social media pages and by giving his story to the pro-hunting Times newspaper. We feel we need to set the record straight, so our supporters are not given the false impression as to what is happening at the League.

In addition, Chris is claiming to be trying to ‘Save the League’. Considering he has attended only three Regular Board Meetings of 15 in the last three years, how can he know what we need? Our Constitution demands just a little bit more attention than that.

The first story in the Times, which Chris provided to a journalist who is known for writing anti-League stories, alleged that we had asked another trustee to ‘hack’ the Countryside Alliance’s emails. We completely dispute this and you can read our full response to the story.

But Chris needs to answer some questions. If he has got evidence that we hacked the Countryside Alliance, where is it? Why did he talk to a pro-hunt paper instead of the police?

The story claims that the Charity Commission are investigating these allegations. But they do not investigate criminal allegations and have since complained to the Times that they were mis-represented in this article. The lack of substance to the claims made by Chris, and the stories themselves, is clear for anyone to see.

Chris has done this after being expelled from the League. An action to expel a Trustee is not taken lightly. It was done fairly and by the book. Chris was expelled for his behaviours, such as supporting others campaigning against us including someone now under investigation by the police. He tried to overturn democratic decisions made by the Board, in contravention of Charity Commission guidelines. 

After, as mentioned above, barely being involved with League for a long time, Chris now claims to want to ‘save it’. But if you want to save something, you need to explain why it needs saving. As we pointed out in our response to the Times story, our list of achievements over the last year is comprehensive. We are fulfilling our aims as a charity and doing what the majority of our supporters want us to do.

Along with another former Trustee campaigning against us, these are the first membership expulsions ever in the League’s history as a charity. The other boasted to us of his IT prowess and how he likes to use this against the hunts. Let’s be clear - we do not play dirty when it comes to animal welfare. Rather, we are balanced, persuasive and influential – this is how we will achieve our goal of ending cruel sports in the UK.

Chris’ actions are damaging the anti-hunting movement as a whole. Following the Times story, the Countryside Alliance are now calling on the League to lose its charitable status. Chris wants us to sack the rest of our board and suspend the CEO. These are two different approaches, but with the same outcome – the League would be hindered from doing what our supporters, and the majority of the public, want us to do.

The truth is we are thriving. We hire and retain the very best staff – from the Head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit to a former UK Chartered Manager of the Year, not to mention people already expert in their fields, be it marketing, investigations, the media or campaigns. We have highly credible and courageous Board that, with the removal of Chris Williamson, command the loyalty and respect of the staff.

Our true supporters have seen this story for what it is – one of disgruntlement and foot stamping - and they have told us so at every turn. It certainly is a long way from protecting animals. They see the huge investments in our intelligence and operations, and the four-fold increase in the number of investigations that have gone to the police this year as in the entirety of last year. They see the impact that our campaigns are having. They see the good in us, perhaps measured best by the nine-fold increase in those pledging their legacy life savings compared to last year. We will spend that well – on animals. Not this nonsense.

There are individuals who are hiding behind what they see as the protection that Chris’ position lends him. We know who they are; many supporters and members know who they are. If those individuals continue to spread mistruths from the shadows, be assured that the League will be forced to draw attention to them and name them for what they are. 

Chris Williamson and his entourage of a few disaffected ex-League officials think we need saving. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Keep up the good work!! What you do is vital!! The stronger you get the more people attack you! Supporters will all stand strong!

- League Supporter

Tomorrow I shall make a donation as a token of my continuing support for the League. Thank you for not giving up on our wildlife that are threatened in so many ways by the callous hunting fraternity

- League Supporter

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