Eton schoolboys have launched a so-called ‘Leggit’ protest over fears the school could be out to scrap its 160-year-old hunting society.
The prestigious institution, attended by the likes of David Cameron and PM Boris Johnson, failed to recruit a new Kennel Huntsman for the Eton College Hunt (ECH) to replace the previous incumbent who recently left for another role.
Trustees of the ECH, made up of former Etonians and the Hunting Office, claimed there is a national shortage of Kennel Huntsmen and seven other hunts have also been unable to fill the position.
The hounds have subsequently been relocated as a ‘temporary measure’ despite many parents offering to keep the pack together at their own estates, The Telegraph has reported.
In response to the news, hundreds of pupils dressed in white tie and black tailcoats gathered outside Eton’s main building for a ‘Leggit’– a rare and powerful gesture which is supposed to give the boys a voice – to protest to masters about the future of the hunting society.
In a video, posted to TikTok over the weekend, pupils could be heard chanting “what do we think of Gregg? S**t! What do we think of s**t? Gregg”, in reference to the school’s deputy head for pastoral matters, David Gregg.
Despite ongoing fears that the college will axe the long-running tradition, the college has stated that the current arrangements are ‘solely because we have not yet managed to replace the Kennel Huntsman’.
An Eton spokesperson told MailOnline: “Eton’s beagle pack is currently being looked after by other hunts as a temporary measure while the College continues its search for a new Kennel Huntsman, at which point the hounds will return to Eton.”
In 2016, the college was forced to ‘urgently’ investigate claims its beagling club took part in an illegal hare hunt that was captured on video.
Undercover investigators say they took footage of a hare being pursued by dogs at a hunt in October last year.
The footage includes a huntsman shouting ‘Tally Ho!’ and a pack of beagles pursing a hare across fields at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe, North Yorkshire.
The League Against Cruel Sports alleged that the hunt involved the Eton College Beagles and said it has passed the footage to police.
The group said that they acted on a tip-off and that the huntmasters are identifiable by their distinctive brown velvet jackets.