Rishi Sunak hit by new blow as probe into election gambling scandal widened

Rishi Sunak hit by new blow as probe into election gambling scandal widened

Rishi Sunak risks being told more people are under investigation for bets

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 23/06/2024

- 08:07

Updated: 23/06/2024

- 19:29

Follow GB News for all the latest updates throughout the day

  • The Conservative party’s chief data officer is the latest person caught up in the allegations of betting on the General Election’s timing
  • James Cleverly has condemned those betting on the date a ballot would be called
  • Meanwhile, on the anniversary of the EU referendum, Kemi Badenoch has warned Brexit is not safe under Labour
  • Nigel Farage has warned organisations are attempting to thwart Reform UK in the election

A probe by the gambling regulator into Tories placing bets on the election date has been widened, it has been claimed.

The Gambling Commission is understood to now be looking at whether a much larger number of people with inside knowledge of Rishi Sunak's plans to go to the polls on July 4 took advantage.

Currently two Conservative officials, the Conservative candidate in Bristol North West, and a police officer in the Prime Minister's police protection unit are under investigation for placing bets.

But it has now been reported by Sky News that investigators have expanded their investigation and have written to leading bookmakers asking for details of bets of £20 or more on the election date placed in the days before the Prime Minister's announcement.

Home Secretary James Cleverly told GB News this morning that everyone in the Conservative Party should be focused on returning MPs to Parliament, rather than on making money through betting.

He said: “My view has always been the case that people in government should focus on delivering for the people of this country.

“People who are officials of the party should be focused on returning as many Conservative MPs as possible so we can form a government, so that we can serve the British people.

“And anything other than that is inappropriate. So whilst I’m not going to discuss any of the details, people should focus exclusively on the people we’re here to serve.”

Cleverly claims 'no knowledge' of ministers placing election bets at Tory crisis grows

James CleverlyHome Secretary James Cleverly arriving at CabinetPA

James Cleverly said he had no reason to believe that ministers had placed bets on the timing of the General Election as the Tory campaign was hit by further gambling allegations.

The Conservative campaign has been plunged into a deeper crisis as the party’s chief data officer took a leave of absence amid claims he placed bets on the election timing.

Data chief Nick Mason is taking a leave of absence from Conservative HQ, following in the footsteps of director of campaigning Tony Lee.

Asked on the BBC if any ministers had put a bet on the timing of the election, Cleverly said: “Not to my knowledge.”

The loss of two senior figures at a time when Labour’s poll lead over the Tories remains stubbornly around 20 points gives Rishi Sunak a further headache in the final stages of the campaign.

No stealth tax rises under Labour, says Bridget Phillipson

There will be no stealth tax rises under a Labour government, according to Shadow Education Bridget Phillipson.

She also said Emily Thornberry was wrong to suggest that class sizes would go up in state schools due to the party’s plan to levy VAT on private school fees.

Phillipson told Camilla Tominey on GB News: “What Rachel Reeves the Shadow Chancellor has been clear about is that we are not interested in always just going to the tax rises lever. We've had a lot of that under the Conservatives. It's why taxes are at the highest rate for 70 years.

“We've set out that we will not increase VAT, National Insurance contributions, or income tax - that's iron-clad, in our manifesto. What we're focused on is growth.

“We've got to grow our economy, making sure we can then alleviate the pressures that working people are facing. We can invest more in our public services, if our economy had grown even in line with the OECD average in recent years, we would have a lot more money to invest in our public services...

“We were not interested in a wealth tax. Same with all of these questions. That is not where our instincts are. That is not what we're interested in, we have a focus on growth.”


Camilla Tominey grills James Cleverly on immigration 'false promises'

\u200bCamilla Tominey, James CleverlyCamilla Tominey fumed at the Home Secretary GB News

Home Secretary James Cleverly was grilled by GB News host Camilla Tominey after she claimed the party had repeatedly made "false promises" on immigration.

Cleverly was confronted after he wrote a piece in the Sunday Telegraph that stated if elected Labour will open door to 100,000 illegal migrants.

Speaking on GB News Camilla said: "Won't the people watching this be thinking, he has got a bit of brass neck. You have opened the door thousands of illegal immigrants by dinghy across the channel?

Cleverley responded: "Stopping the boats, fighting these people smuggling gangs is really hard. They are brutal, but also they have adapted their tactics."


Labour demands betting watchdog share names

Pat McFadden

Labour's Pat McFadden wants more information to be released by the Gambling Commission


Pat McFadden, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has written to the CEO of the Gambling Commission demanding the regulator release details of who it is investigating over election bets.

The member of Labour's top team said the public "deserve to have all relevant facts about this scandal at their disposal" when voting.

In his letter he continued: "Information has already been shared naming some individuals who are either senior officials within the Conservative Party or seeking to stand as Conservative candidates in the upcoming election.

"I believe it is in the public interest that the Gambling Commission makes public the names of other figures you are investigating relating to this matter. There will be particular interest in whether any government ministers bet on the date of the election before it was called. "Separately, I have been concerned to see the Conservative Party claim that they cannot make any comment on this matter, owing to your investigation.

"This is being used as justification for refusing to confirm or deny the identities of those implicated, preventing the public from knowing whether their local Conservative candidate, employees of the Conservative Party or members of the government were placing bets based on inside information.

"It also appears to have created a double standard where a serving police officer has been suspended and found themselves under police investigation, while Conservative candidates for Parliament have so far received no sanction."

Ex-Tory minister urges Reform voters to back Tories

A Tory former minister has insisted the party is the “natural home for Reform voters”, as leadership hopefuls jostled for position ahead of the General Election.

Robert Jenrick also said former prime minister Boris Johnson “must always have a place” in the Tories, including in Parliament, should he wish to have one.

Jenrick, who last served in the Government as immigration minister, later denied he was firing the first shot in the race to replace Rishi Sunak should the Prime Minister lead the Tories to defeat on July 4.

Farage return massively dents Labour lead among GB News viewers

New polling for GB News highlights how Labour's vote share amongst viewers has been significantly dented since Nigel Farage announced his return to frontline politics.

The JL Partners survey of 520 current and recent GB News viewers found that 38 per cent were planning to vote for Labour on July 4.

The figures is an eight percentage points drop compared to the last JL Partners survey conducted prior to Farage becoming leader of Reform UK.

Meanwhile, Reform's vote share has increased from 18 per cent to 25. It means Farage's party has now overtaken the Tories in voting intention for GB News viewers.

The latest JL Partners poll - which surveyed viewers between June 17-20 - found 24 per cent planned to back the Conservatives.

Boiler ban to be scrapped if Labour wins election

The existing gas boiler ban in favour of heat pumps will be scrapped if the Labour Party wins the General Election, according to Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.

Heat pumps have been considered as a viable option to bring down energy bills and reach Net Zero goals. Currently, the Conservative-led Government has pledged to phase out traditional boilers with the environmentally-friendly devices despite concerns over the cost of installations.

However, Labour has appeared to have gone a step further and axed the proposed ban all together.

Read the full story HERE.

Attack on office of Labour's Stella Creasy

Stella Creasy's offices were targeted overnight

The Metropolitan police is investigating an attack on the offices of Labour election candidate Stella Creasy in east London.

Creasy said she would not be intimidated after several windows were damaged in the attack in Walthamstow last night.

In a message posted on the social media this morning, the politician said: "To whoever attacked my office last night. You don’t intimidate me and you don’t belong in the political process.

"Same as those circulating malicious and false leaflets. Police already on this to find you - will press for the strongest penalties for such an anti-democratic attack and I know Walthamstow won’t be cowed or influenced by your violence either."

'He's the leader! He must take responsibility!' Kwarteng goes public in blasting Sunak

Kwasi KwartengKwasi Kwarteng blasted Rishi Sunak GB News

Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwrateng has claimed that the Prime Minister "needs to take some responsibility" for the chaos surrounding the Conservative Party election campaign.

His intervention comes after it emerged the Conservatives' director of campaigning is that latest party official being looked into by the Gambling Commission over an alleged bet relating to the timing of the general election.

Speaking to GB News, Kwarteng said that the "buck stops" with Sunak and he "needs to take some responsibility" for the state the Tories find themselves in.

Watch his full remarks HERE

Rishi Sunak says he 'proudly' voted for Brexit

The Prime Minister has put out a tweet this morning boasting his Brexit credentials.

Marking the eight year anniversary of the EU referendum, Rishi Sunak said he "proudly voted for Brexit".

Drawing contrast between himself and Sir Keir Starmer he added that the Labour Leader had attempted to force through a second referendum when he was Brexit Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Tory aide to Home Secretary brand Rwanda plan 'crap'

A former aide to the Home Secretary who is standing as a Conservative candidate has labelled the Government’s Rwanda policy as “crap”.

James Sunderland, who is standing in the Bracknell ward he won in 2019, was recorded telling a private event “the policy is crap, OK? It’s crap”.

The Conservative candidate has since said he was “disappointed” at being recorded at a private event.

He added: “I was talking about the response to the policy. The policy itself is not the be all and end all but part of a wider response.”

Coming up on The Camilla Tominey Show...

Another Tory steps back of alleged election bets

The Conservative Party’s chief data officer has taken a leave of absence amid claims he placed bets on the timing of the General Election.

Nick Mason has become the latest Tory to be investigated by the Gambling Commission for allegedly betting on the timing of the election before the date had been announced.

The latest allegations were published by The Sunday Times, which claimed dozens of bets had been placed with potential winnings worth thousands of pounds.

The revelations are a fresh blow to Rishi Sunak’s hopes of getting the Tory election campaign on track after three other Conservative figures were caught up in the scandal.

Tony Lee, the party’s director of campaigns, and his wife Laura Saunders, are under investigation by the Commission.

Saunders, a Conservative candidate in the Bristol North West constituency, has said she will co-operate fully with the investigation.

Craig Williams, who was the Prime Minister’s parliamentary private secretary and is the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, has admitted to putting “a flutter” on the date of the election and is also facing a probe.

Zelensky claims Farage 'infected by Putinism'

President Volodymyr Zelensky

President Zelensky's office said 'virus of Putinism' has 'infected' Nigel Farage


Last night Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky was said to have hit out against Nigel Farage, claiming the Reform UK leader is "infected by Putinism".

His intervention comes amid continued criticism levelled at the Reform leader from high profile politicians for his remarks on Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

A source in the Ukraine President's office told the Mail on Sunday: "The virus of Putinism, unfortunately, infects people."

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