Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor declares war on urban foxes

Urban foxes of Westminster better be aware: London’s Deputy Mayor is onto them.

Some politicians focus their policies on housing, some choose the economy and others aim for better transport.

But after being re-elected to the London Assembly last Friday, Kit Malthouse declared his first priority is to crack down on the rise of the urban fox in Westminster.

Staying true to his Conservative party roots, Mr Malthouse could be about to bring a form of fox-hunting to central London.

The Marylebone resident, who for the past four years has held the West Central London Assembly seat which consists of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham, said the main issue that came up while he was canvassing prior to last week’s election was that of foxes.

“Last time I ran the big issue was dangerous dogs,” he said. “We have still got to complete our work on that but the issue that has come up this time is urban foxes.

“People are afraid to let their small children play outside because of them. They are more and more worried about the number of foxes as numbers continue to grow.

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“I’m going to be looking closely at that issue to see if anything can be done.”

Mr Malthouse was responsible for London’s policing during his first term on the London Assembly, but he will now be London’s first ever deputy mayor for business and enterprise, a role that does not instantly lend itself to fox-hunting.

Last month, St John’s Wood resident Carol Gould, 58, told the Wood&Vale she was terrified when she saw a fox “the size of a wolf” near her house.

Westminster residents have complained about gangs of foxes and Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the opposition, has gathered an 81-signature petition calling for action.

Westminster Council says foxes are not its responsibility as the animal is not classified as a pest. Mr Malthouse clearly disagrees.