Transport Minister 'extremely angry' over Tory gambling reports

Transport Minister 'extremely angry' over Tory gambling reports
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/06/2024

- 21:00

Transport Minister Anthony Browne has described claims of candidates betting on the date of the election as “frustrating and disappointing” and said he was “angry” that the campaign had become focused on the issue.

Speaking on GB News Browne said: “It is clearly massively disappointing about these reports and I'm extremely angry about them. But we don't actually know what has happened to them.

“As far as I'm aware, we don't even know whether bets were placed by these people. There's an investigation ongoing by the Gambling Commission and we need to wait for the outcome of that.

“But if your premise is that these bets were placed then clearly it's absolutely wrong to use insider information about the date of an election to place bets and try and make money from it.

“If that just happened, absolutely it's wrong and appropriate action should be taken.

“In terms of the candidates being suspended it's actually too late to take them off the ballot paper because that has now closed and whatever happens they will be on the ballot paper.

“That's why I find this whole story about the gambling deeply, deeply frustrating and it generally makes me very angry about it all. I don't know the facts of it, but the fact that we are having a debate here now discussing it, is very frustrating.”

He continued: “So distractions like this, the betting on the election date, I don't know the facts of it, but it clearly is deeply, deeply frustrating and disappointing.

“I'm not a gambler, and I think I've placed a bet on a horse once or twice so no, absolutely, of course, I haven't done any bets on this. And I do take a rather puritanical view on this.

“If it looks bad, if it doesn't survive the ‘private eye’ test, as it were, let alone the sort of legal test, you absolutely shouldn't be doing it.

“I don't know who's been placing all his bets on the date of the election, but it certainly wasn't me…[the campaign] has definitely had downs and ups, and probably more downs than I’d like but it's definitely true; this wasn't the election campaign I was hoping for at all.

“I'm not involved in the national campaign directly, I campaign locally in my constituency and my local campaign, as far as I can tell, is going pretty well.

“I’m having quite a positive response on the doors and I have to say, and I know this is common amongst other Conservative MPs, but actually the reaction we're getting from voters on the door is completely different from what the national polls are telling us.”


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