Angling MP Martin Salter has claimed that the recent statement from the Bass Sportsfishing Society that “Labour is on course to lose the angling vote” was over the top and said more about the frustration of sea anglers’ inability to influence government policy than anything else.

Mr Salter said: “I was as frustrated and annoyed as anyone else at the decision of the new Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw not to increase the minimum landing size for bass last October. I have challenged the decision as short-sighted on the floor of the House of Commons and I am working to get the MLS reviewed once the new bass nursery areas and inshore netting restrictions are in place.

“However, to claim that all anglers have lost faith in Labour is a little over the top, particularly when angling has clearly prospered under a Labour government with record numbers of people going fishing and more money going into the sport.

“We have got cleaner rivers, action on cormorants, pairs trawling, drift nets, sheep dips, KHV, and a Marine Bill which will establish conservation areas and create new laws to tackle fish thefts. Notwithstanding the setback over bass MLS, I will put my own record and the record of Labour in government with regard to angling up against that of any other political party in Britain.”