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Labour MP shares shocking picture of trophy hunter with dead lion as she calls for ban

Angela Rayner is currently the favourite to become deputy leader of the Labour Party (PA)

Labour MP Angela Rayner has shared a shocking photo of a trophy hunter cradling the body of a dead lion, calling for a ban on the practice.

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, who is currently favourite become her party’s new deputy leader, posted an appeal on Facebook on Tuesday.

Her post contained a picture of a man she identified as Ryan Schledewitz standing over the body of a dead mountain lion.

She claimed Mr Schledewitz had killed the animal despite it having not yet “reached reproductive age”.

Ms Rayner urged her followers to “email the government today” in order to put pressure on MPs to pass a bill introducing “a total ban on hunting trophies”.

“Ryan Schledewitz says he is off to an 'awesome' 2020 after killing this 2 year old female mountain lion,” her post read.

“This cat hasn't reached reproductive age but this didn't stop him. Unfortunately Ryan Schledewitz your greed & ego comes ahead of her right to life.”

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In September last year the government announced it was considering a ban on the import of souvenirs from trophy hunting.

Then animal welfare minister Zac Goldsmith said at the time: “It’s very good that we have now got to the point where we are going to do a ­consultation on a ban.

“That, I know, is going to be widely welcomed because such vast numbers of people do care about this, particularly when you see Cecil the lion-type horror stories or celebrity hunter Melissa Bannerman smirking and gloating over the body of a dead giraffe.”

A Survation poll released last week made Ms Rayner the overwhelming favourite to win the deputy leadership contest.

It suggests the shadow education secretary would win the battle on first preferences alone, taking 60% of the vote.

The same poll claimed that Rebecca Long-Bailey is leading the race to be the next Labour leader.

The shadow business secretary appears to have clawed back ground on Sir Keir Starmer, after the first poll of Labour members put him narrowly ahead.

According to the survey, Ms Long-Bailey would win 42% of first preference votes to the shadow Brexit secretary’s 37%, according to a survey by Survation – the second carried out so far in the leadership race.