Loose talk sees Steve Harman stepping down as BHA chairman in November

• Cheltenham lunch left him open to conflict of interest claim
• ‘Inaccuracies’ in chairman’s account blamed for departure

A lunch at the Cheltenham Festival and “inaccuracies” in his initial account of it appeared to have cost Steve Harman, the British Horseracing Authority’s chairman, his job on Tuesday, following weeks of speculation that his position was under threat due to growing tension between the chairman and some members of the BHA’s board.

A statement issued by the BHA on Tuesday afternoon said that Harman will step down in November to take up a “new industry-wide role”, with a focus on mitigating the possible impact of last week’s announcement that the maximum stake on high-street FOBT machines will be cut to £2.

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