"Being a simple sailor not a politician maybe I didn't choose my words well...Maybe my choice of words wasn't very clever."Methinks though he is no longer a simple sailor and is a politician given the way he has denied the betting story saying,
"I have never placed a bet at all while a minister ever on a political issue."Note the words "while a minister"? Lord West became a Lord in July 2007 and has been a minister, specifically, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Security and Counter-terrorism at the Home Office since August 2007 according to Theyworkforyou.com.
Plenty of time to place a bet and still be within the boundaries of the non-denial denial no? Simple sailor he is no more! A very clever choice of words.
UPDATE: It has been noted in the comments that West became a minister on 29th June 2007. I'm not sure that is correct. He was announced as a minister on that date, but he did not become a Lord until the 9th July, so he cannot have officially been a minister in June. Announcing someone in an office and them officially taking that office are not the same thing. Much like when you get told you've got a job but you don't officially have it until you actually start doing it. Hence, a clever choice of words.