Tory adviser Messina takes gambling job – on same day Tories vote against gambling crackdown

Questions over the clients of Tory election-guru and lobbyist Lynton Crosby have been circulating for months now, with questions raised over his clients in – to name but a few – tobacco, fracking, healthcare. And now Cameron’s other major overseas election hire – Jim Messina – has put Cameron in a difficult position, by taking a job with the main US gambling lobbyist. As the Times reports this morning:

“Jim Messina, who oversaw President Obama’s re-election campaign and was hired by the Conservatives in August, has accepted a job with the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The lobby group is preparing to mount an aggressive campaign across the United States to help to make the case for online gambling nationwide. The AGA has hired the Messina Group to help to build support for online gambling, according to The Hill, a Washington newspaper.”

The timing is especially awkward for Cameron, as Messina was hired on the same day that the Tories voted against measures to introduce tighter controls on high-stake “Fixed odds betting terminals”. Tory opposition to the measures came only hours after the Prime Minister told Ed Miliband that he had a “reasonable point” over concerns about the machines…

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