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13th Jun 2024

Rishi Sunak’s closest aide bet on July election three days before it was announced

Charlie Herbert

He is being investigated

One of Rishi Sunak‘s closest aides in Number 10 has admitted that he “put a flutter” on the general election being in July this year, three days before it was announced.

On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that Craig Williams, the prime minister’s parliamentary private secretary and an MP since 2019, placed a £100 bet with Ladbrokes that there would be a July election just three days before Rishi Sunak named July 4 as the date.

The Tory candidate has since admitted on social media that he “has been contacted “put a flutter on the general election” and the Gambling Commission is making inquiries.

He wrote on X: “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 cooperate with these.

“I don’t want to be a distraction from the campaign, I should have thought through how it looked.”

It is reported that the bet was placed at odds of 4/1, meaning Williams was in line for a £500 payout.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth has called the allegations “utterly extraordinary,” whilst Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said Williams should be suspended as a candidate immediately.

A Conservative Party spokesperson told the BBC they are aware of the Gambling Commission inquiries, but said it is a “personal matter for the individual in question.”

A Gambling Commission spokesperson said it does not “confirm or deny whether any investigations are underway unless or until they are concluded, or if arrests are made or charges are brought during a criminal investigation.”

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