Tory Election Betting Scandal Deepens: Three Members Under Investigation

Rishi Sunak

The Tory election betting scandal intensifies as three members, including PM Rishi Sunak’s campaign chief, face investigations over suspicious bets.

UK, Bollywood Fever: The Tory election betting scandal has intensified, with three members now under investigation. Laura Saunders, her husband Tony Lee, and Craig Williams are facing claims related to suspicious betting activity.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to suspend the implicated Tories. Tony Lee, who resigned as campaign chief amid the probe, is one of the central figures in the allegations, causing further disruption to Sunak’s election preparations.

Reports have surfaced of a significant number of bets placed on a July 4 poll date just days before it was publicly announced. Data from Smarkets indicates that thousands of pounds were wagered from May 14, the day after an election planning meeting at Tory HQ, with the date officially announced on May 22.

Even Tory heavyweight Michael Gove admitted the situation “doesn’t look great.” Laura Saunders, Mr. Lee’s wife and a Tory candidate, has become the second hopeful to face a Gambling Commission probe over the election betting claims.

Additionally, Sunak’s parliamentary aide, Craig Williams, admitted last week to being under investigation. A member of the Prime Minister’s protection team has also been arrested, bailed, and suspended on suspicion of misconduct in public office for allegedly betting on the poll date. During a televised debate, a visibly uncomfortable Sunak refused to suspend the Tory trio, though he acknowledged the gravity of the situation and assured that anyone found violating betting rules would be dismissed.

Labour leader Keir Starmer criticized Sunak’s inaction, stating, “Rishi Sunak needs to take action and account for exactly who knew what.” Labour campaign chief Pat McFadden, in a letter to the Prime Minister, emphasized that suspending only the police officer involved “looks as though there is one rule for members of the Tory Party, and another rule for everyone else,” urging immediate action against all those implicated.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey expressed disbelief, saying, “I can’t believe people at the top of the Conservative Party are doing this and have allowed this to happen.” Under the Gambling Act, betting cheats can face up to two years in jail.

The Gambling Commission confirmed it is investigating possible offences concerning the election date. Ms. Saunders, standing for the Tories in Bristol North West, is reportedly cooperating with the investigation. Local resident Alan Fellows, 71, commented, “It’s awful, venal, and stupid. The protection officer was relieved of his duties quickly but she hasn’t been.”

Mr. Williams, standing in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, apologized, admitting to a “huge error of judgment.” A Tory spokesperson confirmed that they had been contacted by the Gambling Commission about a small number of individuals, and Mr. Lee took “a leave of absence” on Wednesday.

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Nicholas Edwards

Nicholas Edwards is a passionate writer with a keen interest in sports and business news. With a knack for delivering insightful and engaging content, Nicholas keeps his finger on the pulse of the latest developments in these dynamic fields. His enthusiasm for both sports and business shines through in his writing, making complex topics accessible to a wide audience. Whether it's dissecting the latest game-changing play or analyzing market trends, Nicholas brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge to his articles. Email @

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