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Sunak’s close parliamentary aide faces probe after betting on July election date

12 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Craig Williams

One of Rishi Sunak’s closest parliamentary aides, and a former Welsh MP, is facing a Gambling Commission probe after he “put a flutter” on when the General Election would take place.

Craig Williams, who served as the Prime Minister’s parliamentary private secretary and is the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, admitted to placing a bet on when the poll would take place “some weeks ago”.

The Conservative former MP, who represented Montgomery until the election was called, wrote on social media site X, formerly Twitter: “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 co-operate with these. I don’t want it to be a distraction from the campaign. I should have thought through how it looks.”

The Guardian reported Mr Williams placed a £100 bet on a July election just days before Mr Sunak named the date as July 4, at a Ladbrokes in his constituency.

Go-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 said the bet would have led to a payout of £500 based on 5/1 odds.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We are aware of contact between a Conservative candidate and the Gambling Commission. It is 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.”

A Gambling Commission spokesman said: “The Gambling Commission does not typically confirm or deny whether any investigations are under way unless or until they are concluded, or if arrests are made or charges are brought during a criminal investigation.

“If someone uses confidential information in order to gain an unfair advantage when betting, this may constitute an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence.”

Utterly extraordinary

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, described what had happened as “utterly extraordinary”.

He said: “Rishi Sunak has sat on this information for more than a week but has lacked any backbone to take action. Once again, Rishi Sunak has been exposed as utterly weak.

“After all the Tory financial scandals, this is more evidence that the Tories have learned nothing, haven’t changed, and if given five more years, the chaos will just continue.

“Britain has the chance to turn the page on this failed Tory government which will heap £4,800 onto people’s mortgages. It’s time to rebuild with Labour.”

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats called on the Prime Minister to suspend Mr Williams as a candidate.

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Not content with gambling with the country’s future, it now appears that a senior Conservative may have been trying to turn a quick buck on the election date.

“Given that Craig Williams is Rishi Sunak’s close personal aide, it is incumbent on the Prime Minister to immediately suspend him as a candidate and Conservative Party member while the inquiry takes place.

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


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Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Craig W is a pleasant, centralist Tory with a fair track record on Wales issues and although not in Glyn Davies league – should have known better. “ Insider info “ ℹ️ maybe 🤔?

Matthew Paul
Matthew Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

I reckon the fact that he would place the bet at all is evidence that he didn’t know the outcome.

SImon
SImon
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Paul

More likely it’s evidence that he did know the outcome and wanted to make an easy £400. He says this was on “one of his accounts“. Did he do the same on other accounts? And why does he have multiple gambling accounts?

Matthew Paul
Matthew Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  SImon

Probably because he likes a flutter. More to the point, why shouldn’t he, and what business is it of yours?

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Paul

He’s standing as a Tory candidate.
The “flutter” is an indication of his character and the standards he sets for himself.
It’s clearly the “business” of his constituents and as, if he gets elected, he’ll be voting on issues that concern Cymru everyone else.

Some will look at him negatively, some won’t be bothered others might get to work with a brush and carpet.

A Penny Wise
A Penny Wise
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Paul

Perhaps he can give his “ winnings “ to “ progressive causes “ like someone else we all know 😈

Marc
Marc
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Paul

If he knew the election date before it was announced, and as a close Parliamentary aide to Sunak, I would bet £100 he did, then using that information to make financial gain is a crime. That’s why he shouldn’t and that’s why it is the business of us all.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

If he did place the bet because he had inside information then he’s a cheat and willing to cheat for a £500 gain when his salary is £90 000 per annum.

Greedy? Needy? Stupid?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  CapM

Sums him up neatly. One look at the guy suggests he’s a useless wanchor.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

If votes go on looks !! No hope for many standing 🥹

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

When I see khants like that on my doorstep I get rid of them in seconds. ’nuff said .

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

The Fat Shanks Effect…

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

All these bloody politicians are up to something dodgy and we are supposed to trust them to do their best for us. What fools we are!!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

I don’t think Liz and Mabon are ‘up to something’, I trust them both…

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

I just hope that it makes conservative voters in this cobbled together constituency reflect on this mans morality, character and intelligence. Montgomery and Glyndwr can do far better.

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