Police Deny Leaking Details of UK Politicians Betting on Upcoming Election

  • The Daily Telegraph’s government sources believed Scotland Yard leaked names
  • One politician bet £100 ($127) on a July election date before the announcement
  • A police officer on Sunak’s close protection team is also under investigation
The Metropolitan Police deny claims that they were responsible for leaking the names of UK political figures who are under investigation for betting on the upcoming election. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Finger pointing

The Metropolitan Police have denied that they leaked information about the political figures who are under investigation for placing bets on the upcoming UK general election.

The Daily Telegraph reported that one of its government insiders claimed it was Scotland Yard that informed journalists about the ongoing investigations by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

a poor distraction technique.”

Sources in the police informed the BBC that it was not responsible for revealing names and that the allegations were “a poor distraction technique.” It will continue working with the region’s gambling regulator to look into potential wrongdoings.  

An evolving scandal

Despite the UKGC not revealing the names of any of the subjects of the probes, the names of four Conservative Party figures came to light in recent weeks. This includes two people who were up for election next month.

The issue was the placing of wagers on the election date before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced it to the public. The first person flagged publicly was one of Sunak’s close aides Craig Williams after he bet £100 ($127) three days before the announcement that the election would happen in July.

Sportsbooks predict that the Labour Party will win the most seats in the election, with the odds of Sunak returning as Prime Minister a lengthy +3300.

Conservative Party Chief Data Officer Nick Mason, Bristol North West Candidate Laura Saunders, and her partner Tony Lee, who is also the Director of Campaigning for the party, are also facing probes. The UKGC is also reportedly looking at other Tories for similar reasons.

Sunak confirmed on Monday that an internal inquiry is also ongoing and he doesn’t believe anyone else is currently under investigation.

Police involvement

It’s not just politicians who are caught up in the betting scandal with at least one police officer currently the subject of a probe. The authorities arrested a constable who is part of the close protection team of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week and questioned them about potential misconduct in public office.

The revelations led to opposition politicians calling for the suspension of the two active candidates. Sunak finally removed Williams and Saunders from next month’s election on Tuesday morning.

The authorities believe that the constable may also have acted with insider information to place a wager on the election date. The BBC reported that the UKGC is also looking at other police officers for similar offenses.

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