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Defaced image of Craig Williams election placard goes viral

14 Jun 2024 4 minute read
The placard with a few additions was spotted in Caersws

An image of a defaced placard featuring Craig Williams, the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, has gone viral online.

The former Welsh MP, is currently the subject of an investigation by the Gambling Commission after ti was revealed he had placed a bet on the date of the General Election just days before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called it.

Williams, who served as Mr Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary, has apologised but refused to say whether he placed the bet on the basis of insider information.

The placard, which was spotted in Caersws, had been embellished with a sellotaped note that reads ‘Sponsored by Paddy Power’ – in reference to the online bookmaker.

It comes after Rishi Sunak said it was “very disappointing” that one of his closest parliamentary aides had placed a bet on the date of the General Election just days before the Prime Minister called it.

The Prime Minister also declined to say whether Mr Williams knew when polling day would be when he put money on it, saying it would be inappropriate to comment while the Gambling Commission investigates the matter.

Mr Williams, who was the Tory MP for Montgomery until the election was called, is alleged to have placed a £100 bet on a July polling day some three days before Mr Sunak named the date as July 4, at a Ladbrokes in his constituency.

‘Error of judgement’

He told the BBC on Thursday: “I clearly made a huge error of judgment, that’s for sure, and I apologise.”

Asked about the case while attending the G7 summit in Puglia, the Prime Minister told broadcasters: “It’s very disappointing news and you will have seen Craig Williams say that it was a huge error of judgment.

“Now, there’s an independent inquiry that is ongoing, which is necessarily confidential, as well as independent. And you’ll appreciate that, given that, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment while that’s ongoing.”

Pressed on what Mr Williams knew at the time of the bet, Mr Sunak repeated that “it wouldn’t be right for me to comment” while the probe is being carried out.

Mr Williams said on Wednesday that he was facing a Gambling Commission investigation, writing on social media that he would “fully co-operate” with “some routine inquiries”.

Asked repeatedly whether he had had insider information, Mr Williams told the BBC on Thursday: “I will not be expanding on that statement because it’s an independent process.

“The Gambling Commission are looking at it now.”

G0-between

As a parliamentary aide, Mr Williams acted as a go-between for the Prime Minister and his MPs, and is understood to be a trusted member of Mr Sunak’s team.

The Guardian reported that the bet would have led to a payout of £500.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron condemned Mr Williams’s move as “very foolish”.

The Cabinet minister told BBC Breakfast that Mr Williams is already standing as a Conservative candidate and “I don’t think we can change that”, adding Mr Williams “will have to face the consequences” of the Gambling Commission probe.

The Liberal Democrats called for a Cabinet Office inquiry to look into what information Mr Williams had at the time of his bet.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey told broadcasters in Kent: “If someone knows the outcome of something, it seems to me morally questionable for them to put a bet on it if they know the result of that outcome.”

His deputy Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak must stop being so weak and call a Cabinet Office inquiry into this latest scandal.

“This inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of who knew what when, and uncover whether Craig Williams knew the election date at the time the bet was placed.

“The Conservative Party has been mired in endless sleaze and scandal for years, and the British people are sick to their back teeth with it.”


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Daniel Pitt
Daniel Pitt
1 month ago

What he did wasn’t “foolish” – it was criminal. He must face the full weight of the law just like any other person suspected insider trader.

Les Cargot
Les Cargot
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel Pitt

What’s the odds on that happening?

Last edited 1 month ago by Les Cargot
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

He does have the look of Batman’s arch enemy…the Joker…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

He is sponsored by lots of people, they all are and you can look it up if you like…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

A thought, he is the Eggs, Pigs and Poultry Man from Powis, he takes a few Grand from all over the place. How much salad is grown along side, spinach leaves like a damp patch…Martin, this guy needs a good shake-down…

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 month ago

Serve him right. OK, he never seemed to be any sort of serious heavyweight politician, but this egregiously witless action has made him look trivial and foolish. I wonder how the voters of Montgomeryshire will view this? Years ago I lived for a while just a very few miles from the Montgomeryshire border – close enough for us to do our routine weekly shop in Newtown. The locals always struck me as, on the whole, a steady and a loyal bunch, not easily swayed from their long-standing traditional loyalties and allegiances. But there’s a breaking point, as Lembit Opik discovered… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  John Ellis

The Silver Tongued Heseltine came to town and took advantage of the natives…

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ah, Heseltine was part of the story, was he? I’d long departed from Powys by the time Opik was defeated and I hadn’t followed the local politics of Sir Drefaldwyn during the ‘noughties’ with any great attention.

Ap Kenneth
1 month ago
Reply to  John Ellis

Remeber this seat also now includes south Wrexham, Rhostyllen, Johnstown, Rhosllanerchrugog, Plas Madoc, Chirk, so not just farming territory any longer

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

True – indeed it won’t be the old and long familiar playing field any more!

Giving the voting history of the areas newly added, it should be interesting after July 4th to see what degree of difference they seem to have made in respect of the result.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

It’s quite worrying knowing that the government employs such dim people.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

He is a Privy Councillor !

The Fat Shanks effect…corrupt Officials, MPs, Ministers, Fat Cats and Peers…he infected the whole system…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Clark of Kent should bring back the Star Chamber and prosecute every Tory minister for the last decade and a half…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

That smile and that haircut speak of certain lack of judgement too!

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Tim nice but dim.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Dear God, look at this guy’s voting record on ‘they work for you’…

‘Nice’ he is not !

He is a fully paid-up member of @Slash, Burn and Pillage UK…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

His election placard hasn’t been defaced! It’s a sellotaped piece of paper that can be cleanly removed. He might’ve even done it himself to gain publicity (under the premise that all publicity is good publicity). It would’ve been better if it had been handwritten with a permanent marker

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