Home Uncategorized UK election betting scandal widens as 4th Tory official is probed

UK election betting scandal widens as 4th Tory official is probed


LONDON: The chief data officer of Britain’s Conservative Party has taken a leave of absence, British media reported on Sunday, following growing allegations that the governing party’s members used inside information to bet on the date of Britain’s July 4 national election before it was announced.
Sunday Times and others reported that Nick Mason is the fourth Conservative official to be investigated by the UK’s Gambling Commission for allegedly betting on the timing of the election.The Times alleged that dozens of bets had been placed with potential winnings worth thousands of pounds.
The reports came after revelations in recent days that two Conservative election candidates, Laura Saunders and Craig Williams, are under investigation by the gambling watchdog. Saunders’ husband Tony Lee, the Conservative director of campaigning, has also taken a leave of absence following allegations that he was also investigated over alleged betting.
Police said one of PM Rishi Sunak’s police bodyguards was arrested on Monday on suspicion of misconduct in public office. The arrest came after the gambling regulator confirmed it was investigating “the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election.”
The growing scandal, just two weeks ahead of the national election, has dealt a fresh blow to Sunak’s Conservative Party, which is widely expected to lose to the opposition Labour Party after 14 years in power.
Sunak said this week that he was “incredibly angry” to learn of the allegations and said that anyone found to have broken the law should be expelled from his party. Sunak announced on May 22 that parliamentary elections would be held on July 4. The date had been a closely guarded secret and many were taken by surprise because a vote had been expected in the fall.
Senior Conservative minister Michael Gove condemned the alleged betting and likened it to “Partygate,” the ethics scandal that contributed to former PM Boris Johnson’s ouster in 2022. “It looks like one rule for them and one rule for us. That’s the most potentially damaging thing.”

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