The British guitarist, a leading animal rights activist, appeared on BBC Newsnight to debate against the proposed alteration of the U.K. Hunting Act, claiming relaxing the limit on the number of dogs used in the sport will effectively repeal the ban, which has been in place since 2005 in England and Wales.

In his opening argument, May declared, "I think it is a very underhanded act I'm afraid because (Prime Minister David) Cameron for years has promised a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act... this thing (vote) has been put together as a way of circumventing the normal democratic process, so you introduce a little modification to an act, but this modification actually disables the whole Hunting Act. Effectively, this is repeal under another name and I think that's a very MAChiavellian and rather inexcusable way of behaving".

He was challenged by Jim Barrington from pro-hunting group Countryside Alliance, who welcomed the proposal, insisting the sport is essential for wildlife management, and their debate became increasingly heated as each speaker kept interrupting the other.

At one stage, May exclaimed, "It's not wildlife management, I'm sorry, b**locks, complete b**locks" and repeatedly cut into Barrington's speech, prompting him to say, "Brian will you please let me finish".

In conclusion, Barrington claimed May is making the activity out to be a sadistic sport, when it is about wildlife management, and May replied, "I believe it's a pretence, I think you're a bunch of lying b**tards".

The host Laura Kuenssberg apologised for the offensive language at the end of the debate and May added, "I beg your pardon".

Sir Paul MCCartney and Ricky Gervais are also campaigning against the proposed changes, which will be subject to a vote in Britain's Parliament. The session was due to take place on Thursday (16Jul15), but it has now been moved to Wednesday (15Jul15).