UKGC Probe Prompts Labour to Suspend Candidate Who Bet on Tory Win

  • Instead of backing himself to win for Labour in his constituency, Kevin Craig bet on a Tory victory
  • Labour stated it would return the £100,000 Craig donated under Keir Starmer’s leadership
  • Small size of the market for Craig’s constituency means he wouldn’t have even doubled his bet
UK General Election sign
The Labour Party has acted fast to suspend one of its election candidates caught up in the UKGC’s election betting probe. [Image:]

Election looming

With the July 4 date for UK’s general election looming, a member of the Labour Party has joined two Conservative candidates suspended for betting on the outcome.

Ongoing investigations by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) have prompted Labour to suspend its candidate, businessman Kevin Craig, who was in the running to become the party’s MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

Craig took to X on Tuesday to acknowledge his suspension and admit to “a stupid error of judgement”:

Instead of backing himself to win the safe Tory seat previously held by Dan Poulter, who has defected to Labour, Craig bet on the blue party.

In his online mea culpa, the businessman said he placed the bet on the Tories weeks ago when “I thought I would never win this seat.” Craig said he would have donated any winnings to charity.

Suspension Tuesday

Craig’s self-confessed enjoyment of “the odd bet for fun whether on politics or horses” has resulted in Labour getting drawn into the general election betting controversy.

While the UKGC’s investigations fingered four Tory insiders two weeks ago, PM Rishi Sunak has previously defended two of his party’s candidates under scrutiny, namely his chief aide Craig Williams, who was standing for re-election in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, and Laura Saunders, who was gunning for the Bristol North West seat.

Tuesday, however, saw the PM dramatically change his tune, with the Tory leader suspending Saunders and Williams; the latter infamously placing a £100 ($126) bet on a July election three days prior to Sunak announcing the date.

Labour Party upholds the highest standards for our parliamentary candidates”

Labour, meanwhile, issued a strong statement on Tuesday, stating it had “acted immediately” to suspend Craig, the founder and CEO of communications firm PMLR. A Labour Party spokesperson explained: “With [Sir] Keir Starmer as leader, the Labour Party upholds the highest standards for our parliamentary candidates.”

The spokesperson also stated that Labour would return the £100,000 ($126,677) Craig donated under Keir Starmer’s leadership.

Costly bet

Despite Craig’s suspension, with only a week before the UK public heads to the polls, the candidate PMLR describes as “an expert in political communications, crisis management and corporate communications” will still appear on the ballot paper as the Labour candidate for the constituency he was running for.

According to The Guardian, however, the longest odds on a Tory win for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich was -100 with Bet365. The offshoot is even if Craig had made his election bet at the most profitable time, given the small size of the market with only a few bookmakers offering odds, he wouldn’t have even doubled his wager.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *