The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has reacted positively to the appointment of Matt Hancock as Culture Secretary, in the cabinet reshuffle of Prime Minister Theresa May.
Within the UK Parliament, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are accountable for all gambling matters, including Horseracing.
Speaking about the appointment, BHA Chairman Steve Harman stated: “We’re delighted with the appointment of Matt Hancock as secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.
“Matt has been a key supporter and driver for racing, has put grassroots growth first, and is very close to our strategy for growth in rural economies, small businesses and jobs. This is an industry supporting almost 100,000 jobs and 14,000 small businesses, contributing over £3 billion to the economy.
“Matt is also very close to his constituents in Newmarket and has a strong knowledge of staffing, welfare and equine priorities. He’s also in touch with other issues for racing such as Brexit, betting and the significant charitable agenda within the sport.”
He also paid tribute to Hancock’s predecessor, Karen Bradley who now takes up her new role as the new Northern Ireland secretary: “I would like to thank Karen Bradley for her tremendous support for this industry. Through the levy replacement, Karen and Tracey Crouch have delivered a landmark improvement for the industry and we wish Karen the best in her new role.”
The 39 year old was elected as the Member of Parliament for West Suffolk in 2010, a constituency that hosts one of the country’s most sought after racecourses, Newmarket.
Former Racehorse Owners Association president Rachel Hood also commented on the appointment: “He’s been a superb local MP and I think he’s a very impressive individual. His record speaks for itself.
“He’s been extremely supportive of racing and I think what’s important too is that he understands the dynamics of the industry and gets the bigger picture. I think everybody in racing will see it as a very positive appointment.”