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‘Very disappointing’ that Welsh MP bet on July election date, Rishi Sunak says

13 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Craig Williams

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

Craig Williams, who served as Mr Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary and is the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, has apologised but refused to say whether he placed the bet on the basis of insider information.

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

Sunak has pledged to personally write to Ladbrokes to ensure they honour the bet Craig Williams MP made 😄

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Today we’ve seen another Conservatives crook in Craig Williams MP plead innocent of all charges. Apparently he made a so-called “error of judgment” when he naively placed a £100 bet on the date of the General Election. We also heard on the BBC Tory spiv David TC Davies defend the indefensible. Imagine if that was another party candidate, say Plaid Cymru, doing similar. Would he be so understanding. I very much doubt it. That weasel would squeak in delight from the gutter to the rooftops networking to fellow his rodents of the political home goal. And there was no insider… Read more »

Noel Walsh
Noel Walsh
1 month ago

Has he bet Labour to win as well?Smart money wager!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

This guy is a Privy Councillor…Holy Mother Of God Pray For Us Sinners !

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 month ago

An extraordinarily dim-witted thing to do. I suppose it is possible that Williams, as a humble PPS bag-carrier to the prime minister, wasn’t actually privy to Sunak’s decision to call the election for July 4th, but in these circumstances are voters really likely to buy that notion?

I doubt it, and Mr Williams should have doubted it too.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

I am the Walrus but they are the egg men and he is the eggs, pigs and poultry man…

A lot of people give him money…he has his fingers in many pies, all under forty something, not sure quite where and when but he’s done it, been it and seen it in a remarkably short time Many titles, not much experience but well connected…a future Sec of State for Wales? Cardiff council to Westminster then bring light rail, a transport enthusiast and one of the holy trinity…Mr Shipton, all yours…

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

Mr Williams was brothers in arms with Russell George in conflict with Bute Energy over land access, I remember the article on here…

Pity, he really ought to know better given his elevation to the highest of the commoners in these countries…

What fun foreign spies could have with him…

That Alfred E. Newman smile…being a Privy Councillor he hears loads of other secrets too…

Honestly they know not what they do…

The Fat Shanks Effect will curse us for decades…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Is it part of the job description that Welsh Tory MPs disgrace their homeland…?

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Tim nice but dim.

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