UK’s Conservative Party official reportedly investigated in election betting scandal

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
4 min read

The chief data officer of Britain’s Conservative Party has taken a leave of absence, British media reported Sunday, following growing allegations that the governing party’s members have been using inside information to bet on the date of Britain’s July 4 national election.

The Sunday Times and others reported that Nick Mason is the fourth Conservative official to be investigated by the UK’s Gambling Commission for allegedly betting on the timing of the election before the date had been announced.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The Times alleged that dozens of bets had been placed with potential winnings worth thousands of pounds.

Two other Conservative election candidates, Laura Saunders and Craig Williams, are under investigation by the gambling watchdog. Saunders’ husband Tony Lee, the Conservative director of campaigning, has also taken a leave of absence following allegations he was also investigated over alleged betting.

The growing scandal, which came just two weeks ahead of the national election, has dealt a fresh blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party, which is widely expected to lose to the opposition Labour Party after 14 years in power.

Sunak said this week that he was “incredibly angry” to learn of the allegations and said that anyone found to have broken the law should be expelled from his party.

Saunders, a candidate standing in Bristol, southwest England, has said she will cooperate fully with the investigation. Williams was Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary as well as a candidate.

Senior Conservative minister Michael Gove has condemned the alleged betting and likened it to “ Partygate,” the ethics scandal that contributed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ouster in 2022.

That controversy saw public trust in the Conservatives plummet after revelations that politicians and officials held lockdown-flouting parties and gatherings in government buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“It looks like one rule for them and one rule for us,” Gove told the Sunday Times. “That’s the most potentially damaging thing.”

Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said “people are sick and tired of this sleaze” and that Sunak must intervene and order an official inquiry.

The Conservative Party said it cannot comment because investigations are ongoing.

Read more:

UK’s Nigel Farage says the West provoked Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Aide to UK minister calls Rwanda migrant plan ‘crap’ in leaked audio

Top Content Trending