UK prime minister aid caught gambling on the election

UK prime minister aid caught gambling on the election

UK prime minister aid caught gambling on the election
Rishi Sunak finds himself in a hole of his own making, and yet, the bad news contributed by close allies just continues piling on top of the beleaguered Prime Minister. After Scott Benton, a former Tory MP, was expelled from the party and recalled by voters, the Conservative Party is finding itself in another dubious position with news that one of the Prime Minister’s aids, Craig Williams, had placed a bet on the upcoming snap election that his boss called a few weeks earlier. Tory MP wagered on the general elections before they were announced Williams, who was the Parliamentary Private Secretary, made a statement on his X social media account, explaining that he had been contacted by a journalist who was interested in finding out why the UK Gambling Commission had looked into the lawmaker. Receiving the news, Sunak was visibly unhappy with this sort of behavior, calling his aid’s actions “very disappointing” in an interview for Sky News. To address this, Williams said that he thought that it would be 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,” Williams explained. Although there is nothing illegal about an MP placing a bet, onlookers may question Williams’ motivation given the circumstances. For one, he placed his £100 on the likelihood of a general election held in July, and he did so just days before Sunak said that he would indeed be calling a general election on July 4, catching many of his party members unaware and leaving them bitter and fulminating with poor purchase to mobilize and campaign. As reported by the BBC and other media outlets, it’s not exactly clear whether Williams used “inside knowledge” to bet on the exact date of the event, which would raise more than a few eyebrows given his close connection to Sunak. Of course, this was an opportunity for political denunciation by members of the opposition Did Williams bet on the exact date or just the month? Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said that Sunak and the Conservatives just take the voters for granted. The Conservative Party itself has responded by saying they were aware about the ongoing inquiries into Williams launched by the UK Gambling Commission. Although there may be nothing untoward in William’s behavior in the end, politics is often about optics and the appearances of things. Becoming the second Tory MP to get himself in an embarrassing situation over gambling would do nothing to help the Conservatives fare better on July 4. This might be just as well, as the party has accepted that the most likely outcome for it is to take a serious thumping and start regrouping as Labor takes charge of the country. The Labor Party has already mentioned gambling as part of its manifesto. Matters of gambling are now an inescapable part of party policy. Voters will certainly be keeping an eye on how their leaders fare on this front. Image credit: Unsplash.com

14 JUN 2024

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