Betting on Horse Racing
The Earl of Carnarvon (Crossbench)
My Lords, I must declare an interest as an owner and manager of racehorses and a member of the Jockey Club. I speak in the gap to underline two points. As a member of the Joint Bloodstock and Racing Committee of both Houses, I can say that both these points are unanimously supported. They have been referred to today. One is a request from the Jockey Club, which is responsible for the rules of racing, for access to criminal records by exemption from certain provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act referred to by the noble Viscount, Lord Bridgeman. Of course, a government department or Minister responsible for the horse is necessary. I think that mention has been made not only of a Minister for the horse, but also of a Minister for racing. However, it is very much a ministry for the horse right across the equine world that is wanted, and not one isolated for racing alone.
The Minister will know, I am sure, that I have been in touch with his colleague the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General on the subject of criminal records, and no doubt he will have had access to the letters that have been written to the Home Office from the Jockey Club.