LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “not keen” on grouse shooting and looked forward to a review of Bradford Council’s controversial contract for the bloodsport on Ilkley Moor.

Mr Corbyn, speaking during a visit to the district on Thursday, was asked by the Ilkley Gazette whether the Labour-led authority should end the arrangement when the contract came up for review.

He said: “I look forward to the review and I look forward to the review’s decision on this.

“Personally – and it is personal – I’m not keen on grouse shooting and I can promise you, I’ve never been grouse shooting in my life.”

His comments came after outspoken wildlife presenter Chris Packham urged Bradford councillors to “do the right thing” and end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor.

In a letter to Bradford councillors, Mr Packham had said: “This world is running out of wildlife - fast, and the faster that loss the more vociferous the demand to conserve what is left will become. So do you want to act now to lead the way forward or allow history to show that you failed to do the right thing when your venerable office allowed you that opportunity?”

Bradford Council is the last local authority in the UK to allow grouse shooting to take place on public moorland. Others, including the Peak District National Park Authority and Sheffield Council, already prohibit the practice on their upland estates, having previously allowed it, and now maintain the land using other methods.

The ten-year contract which allows shooting on Ilkley Moor comes to an ends in April next year, with Bradford Council expected to decide soon whether to renew the contract or not.

Bradford Council awarded the ten-year contract to run shoots on the moor to Bingley Moor Partnership in 2008, allowing commercial shooting of grouse.

The £10,000-a-year contract restricts shoots to eight weekdays during the grouse shooting season.

The shooting lease was one of a series of measures taken following the extensive fire on the Bradford Council-owned moor in 2006.

The lease provides income as well as moorland management working alongside the council.

The Bingley Moor Partnership has long argued that it has restored Ilkley Moor – a site of special scientific interest - by spraying bracken and improving the heather content, as well as carrying out pest and predator management.