Sunak aide admits placing bet on general election before it was announced

Sunak aide admits placing bet on general election

4 hours agoBy Brian Wheeler, BBC News Getty imagesCraig Williams is standing to be an MP in Montgomeryshire & Glyndwr

A senior aide to Rishi Sunak has admitted that the Gambling Commission are making inquiries after he reportedly placed a bet on the date of the general election.

Tory candidate Craig Williams, who was the prime minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary in the last Parliament, said he would cooperate with the probe.

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, he said: “I’ve been contacted by a journalist about Gambling Commission inquiries into one of my accounts and thought it best to be totally transparent.

“I put a flutter on the general election some weeks ago. This has resulted in some routine inquiries and I confirm I will fully cooperate with these.

“I don’t want to be a distraction from the campaign, I should have thought through how it looked.”

According to the Guardian, Mr Williams – who is standing for election in Montgomeryshire & Glyndwr – placed a £100 bet on a July election just three days before Mr Sunak named 4 July as the date.

The newspaper reported that the bet could have led to a payout of £500, following the election in July.

The BBC has not yet been able to verify that he placed a bet on the election date but has contacted Mr Williams for a comment.

Labour called the allegations “utterly extraordinary”.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said the prime minister should suspend Mr Williams immediately as a candidate and Conservative member while inquiries take place.

“Voters are being taken for granted by Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives”, she added.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said they are “aware of contact between a Conservative candidate and the Gambling Commission” but say that it is a “a personal matter for the individual in question”.

“As the Gambling Commission is an independent body, it wouldn’t be proper to comment further, until any process is concluded,” they said.

A Gambling Commission spokesperson said it does not “confirm or deny whether any investigations are underway unless or until they are concluded, or if arrests are made or charges are brought during a criminal investigation.”

The spokesperson also said that the confidential use of information in order to gain an unfair advantage when betting “may constitute an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence”.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said: “These allegations are utterly extraordinary.”

He claimed Rishi Sunak had “sat on this information for more than a week but has lacked any backbone to take action”.

Mr Ashworth added: “Once again Rishi Sunak has been exposed as utterly weak.”

The other candidates standing in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr are:

Jeremy Brignell-Thorp, the Green PartyOliver Lewis, Reform UK Glyn Preston, Liberal DemocratElwyn Vaughan, Plaid CymruSteve Witherden, Labour

General election 2024 Craig Williams

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