Bookie Basher Stephen Timms Goes Each Way

Labour’s Stephen Timms was all a flutter last week, getting on his high horse in the Mail to attack betting shops and accusing them of “destroying people’s lives.”  As Guido noted in yesterday’s Sun column, when he was a Treasury Minister in the last government he took a noticeably different position, not least overseeing the scrapping of the betting levy, loathed by bookies:

“The British betting industry is competitive…the government wants it to remain competitive and grow. Modernising the industry must benefit everyone otherwise the customer will go elsewhere. These reforms will provide a better deal for punters, and help UK bookmakers to compete internationally, while continuing to make their fair contribution to racing and to Government revenues. The reforms are fair to punters, bookmakers, racing and the taxpayer, and will provide the UK with a betting duty system and a competitive environment for bookmakers fit for the 21st century.”

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