Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigns in wake of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s delay on gambling crackdown

1 Nov

Tracey Crouch has resigned as Sports and Civil Society Minister after Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced delays to cut the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Ms Crouch is unhappy the cap on FOBTs bets being reduced from £100 to £2 will not come into place until October 2019.

Ms Crouch with former Blackburn and Wigan striker Jason Roberts

The MP tweeted: “It is with great sadness I have resigned from one of the best jobs in Government. Thank you so much for all the very kind messages of support I have received throughout the day. Politicians come and go but principles stay with us forever.”

The move came after the Government made it clear it was standing firm when Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss failed to give ground during the Budget debate in the Commons.

Ms Truss told MPs that the Government is “certainly happy to discuss” the matter, but gave no indication of a change of policy.

Ms Crouch has been a leading campaigner in reducing the maximum stake for FOBTs.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith joined cross-party calls to bring the change forward to April 2019.

Tom Watson, the shadow culture secretary, tweeted praise for Ms Crouch saying: “She poured her heart and soul into a significant review of these destructive machines, faced down a systematic lobbying attempt by the gambling industry and took the right decision for those suffering from problem gambling, their families and communities.”