Five policemen and implicated in Tory betting scandal

Five policemen and implicated in Tory betting scandal

Five policemen and implicated in Tory betting scandal
Asking rhetorically how deep the Tory betting scandal goes seems to be pointless given the circumstances. It all started with one member of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, Craig Williams, admitting to have placed a wager on the likely date – or rather the month – in which a new general election would be held in the country. Recapping Tory political betting scandal in brief Then, his boss, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared under the rain at Dawning Street and said that he had dissolved parliament with His Majesty, the King’s permission. From that point on, reports about alleged insider information betting by members of the Tories have increased. Williams did not wait long to take to X, a social media platform and apologised. Many would have left it that – a sole MP acting foolishly in the moment. He would bear the personal cost and his party would perhaps have lost a few votes lost because of his decisions in a personal capacity. But hold on, as the UK Gambling Commission and media reports quickly came forth outlining that political betting was more widespread among the Tories. Soon after Williams, Laura Saunders was named as someone who had placed bet(s) on the election. In the meantime, a Welsh MP was also caught betting. Then, the party’s Chief Data Officer, Nick Mason too was named in a report by the Sunday Times as having placed wagers on the general election. Yet, this is hardly all there is to that story. For one, an officer from the bodyguard team of the Prime Minister was also arrested last week, albeit released and reinstated shortly after. This torrent of unfortunate events has left Sunak fuming, going on TV to say that he was “very angry” and calling on the Conservative Party to expel the people involved in betting using inside information. Some 80 MPs have left the party even prior to the betting scandal, citing their dissatisfaction with Sunak’s surprise decision to call an election without consulting with his MPs first. To clarify, a general election had to be called this year. The MPs’ objection is to the fact that Sunak kept them in the dark and they had to find out from the media. What’s new and why are more police officer and a minister targeted next? While the above culprits are unlikely to get scot-free, there is even more to the story in terms of who has used insider information. For one, five more police officers are now suspected of having placed bets. In their professional capacity, they have been part of the protection detail of various government officials. The Metropolitan Police was alerted about the bets by the UK Gambling Commission which targeted all suspicious betting activity surrounding the election date that is now due for July 4. The police force is confident that the officer had used their proximity to the ruling party and the government to make the bets, although no arrests have been carried out. And then, there is Scottish Secretary Alister Jack who has also placed multiple bets. Jack spoke with the BBC, a media outfit, and said that he had placed a bet that the election would be held between July and September. He though cautioned that his bet was placed in April, much earlier than Sunak’s announcement of the actual date. Jack has himself been often telling colleagues that June or July would make the most “strategic sense” for his party to tap into for a new general election. The UK Gambling Commission has not confirmed whether Jack is being investigated at present time. Image credit: Unsplash.com

26 JUN 2024

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