Met Police and Gambling Commission investigate election bet allegations

Met Police and Gambling Commission investigate election bet allegations
credit: thetimes

London (Parliament News) – At least seven Metropolitan police officers are under investigation for allegedly betting on the general election date using confidential data, prompting a joint probe with the Gambling Commission.

The number of Metropolitan police officers under probe over bets on the date of the general election has increased to at least seven, the force has stated.

UK’s biggest police force stated it would continue to scrutinise a “small number” of wagers as part of a collaborative investigation led by the Gambling Commission. Sources familiar with the investigation indicated the decision to run parallel inquiries could be an endeavour to dampen the frenzy around MPs betting on themselves to succeed or lose their seats, which may be deemed unwise but is not illegal.

How Many Met Officers Are Under Betting Probe?

Six Met officers had already been implicated in the scandal, with one, a protection officer for the PM, under investigation for malfeasance in public office after allegedly putting bets on the election date. The close protection officer has been bailed and is subject to limited duties, the Met expressed. It affirmed that “at least” seven officers were under examination by the Met’s specialist crime command.

Did Met Police Use Confidential Data for Bets?

The Gambling Commission and the Met are concentrating on whether the alleged use of confidential data constitutes cheating under criminal law.

Is the Gambling Commission Investigating Met Officers?

In a statement, the Met stated the majority of cases – believed to be those without distinctive features that could mean other offences apply – would be examined by the Gambling Commission. The Guardian discovered the gambling scandal two weeks ago, indicating that Craig Williams, Rishi Sunak’s closest aide, was the subject of an examination by the Gambling Commission for betting that the election would be in July, three days before it was called.

Are MPs Involved in Election Betting Scandal?

The watchdog is also looking at bets allegedly placed by Tony Lee, the Conservative party’s campaigns manager; his wife, Laura Saunders, the Tory candidate in Bristol North West; and Nick Mason, the Tories’ chief data officer. As many as 15 Conservative nominees and officials are supposed to be under investigation over questionable bets on the date of the election.

The decision to settle Williams and Saunders as candidates on Tuesday was Sunak’s latest action to draw a line under the gambling scandal that has plagued his election campaign.

The Guardian also informed that Russell George, a Tory member of the Welsh parliament who denotes the same constituency as Craig Williams, is part of the commission’s inquiry.

What Actions Are Taken Against Betting Officers?

Andrew Rhodes, the chief executive of the Gambling Commission, stated: “We are concentrated on an investigation into confidential information being utilised to gain an unfair advantage when betting on the date of the general election. Our enforcement team has made rapid improvement so far and will continue to operate closely with the Metropolitan police to draw this case to a just conclusion.”

Det Supt Katherine Goodwin, who is overseeing the Met investigation, stated: “We have agreed on a joint strategy with the Gambling Commission, which is the proper authority to investigate the prevalence of these allegations. There will, however, be a small number of issues where a broader criminal investigation by the police is needed. We will aim to provide updates at key points as our investigation progresses.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.