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Tracey Crouch has 'no regrets' about resignation as minister in gambling row

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An MP who quit as a minister in protest to delays with plans to limit stakes on addictive gambling machines has said she has "no regrets" about her decision.

Tracey Crouch, the MP for Chatham and Aylesford, sent shockwaves through Westminster with her surprise resignation as sports minister yesterday.

She had said it was "unjustifiable" to wait until October to bring in new regulations limiting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals, described as as the "crack cocaine" of gambling, from £2 to £100.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch
Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch

Users are currently able to place bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds on the machines.

Speaking outside her home this morning, Ms Crouch said: "I have absolutely no regrets about my decision whatsoever.

"I'm perfectly comfortable with my decision and I have no further comment to make."

Ms Crouch has received a wave of cross-party support for her resignation, which was described as "principled and courageous" by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

She and Matt Hancock, the former culture secretary, secured a major victory when Mrs May agreed to slash the stake back in March.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: "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.

"The new Secretary of State has threatened all of this good work. He has prioritised corporate interests over victims, profits over public health and greed over good. He should be thoroughly ashamed."

Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins, who is chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said: "She will be a loss to the government, and leaves behind a legacy of reform, not least on gambling regulation and the sports strategy."

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