A number of people including Conservative candidates, officials and police officers are being investigated for alleged bets on the date of the general election. A Labour candidate is also being looked into after betting on himself to lose his seat.

Here’s what we know so far.

What is ‘inside information’ and can you go to prison for cheating at gambling?

You’re not allowed to use “inside information” when placing a bet – or to instruct someone else to do so on your behalf. Nor are you allowed to pass inside information on to another person for them to use when betting.

Inside information is information that “would be known by an individual or individuals as a result of their role in connection with the event, and which is not in the public domain”. For example, knowing “that an election is going to be held on a particular date”, said Kate Bedford, professor of law and political economy at the University of Birmingham.

Under the 2005 Gambling Act it is a criminal offence to cheat at gambling or help another person to cheat. The maximum penalty is up to two years in prison.

Which Conservatives are involved in the gambling row?

The prime minister’s parliamentary private secretary Craig Williams was the first person publicly caught up in the scandal.

Mr Williams – who is standing for election in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr – placed a £100 bet on there being a July election just three days before Mr Sunak named 4 July as the date, according to the Guardian. The paper reported the bet could have led to a payout of £500.

Mr Williams said in a statement on X on 12 June: “I’ve been contacted by a journalist about Gambling Commission inquiries into one of my accounts and thought it best to be totally transparent.

“I put a flutter on the general election some weeks ago. This has resulted in some routine inquiries and I confirm I will fully cooperate with these.

“I don’t want to be a distraction from the campaign, I should have thought through how it looked.”

A week later, it was revealed that the Gambling Commission is also looking into Laura Saunders – the Conservative candidate in Bristol North West – and her husband, Tony Lee, who the party confirmed is now on “leave of absence” from his job as the party’s director of campaigning, according to the Guardian.

In a statement Laura Saunders’ solicitor said she “will be cooperating with the Gambling Commission and has nothing further to add.”

After nearly two weeks of questions from journalists regarding the investigations, the prime minister announced yesterday that the party would officially withdraw support from Ms Saunders and Mr Williams.

The Conservative party issued a statement that said: “As a result of ongoing internal enquiries, we have concluded that we can no longer support Craig Williams or Laura Saunders as parliamentary candidates at the forthcoming general election.

“We have checked with the Gambling Commission that this decision does not compromise the investigation that they are conducting, which is rightly independent and ongoing.”

In response, Mr Williams said on X that he’s “committed an error of judgement, not an offence” and “I intend to clear my name”.

Both Ms Saunders and Mr Williams will still appear on the ballot under Conservative party banners as it’s now too late to reissue ballot papers. But support being withdrawn by the party means they won’t get resources from the party to fight the seat.

The Sunday Times also reported on 23 June that the party’s chief data officer, Nick Mason, allegedly placed dozens of bets and has now taken a leave of absence. The paper said these bets could have generated thousands of pounds in winnings.

A spokesman for Mr Mason told the BBC that it would not be appropriate to comment during an investigation, but he denied wrongdoing.

On 25 June, the BBC reported that Welsh Conservative Russell George is also being investigated “over a bet on the timing of the general election”.

Mr George, whose seat is Montgomeryshire, announced he had “stepped back” from the Senedd’s Conservative frontbench.

He said in a statement: “Whilst I will cooperate fully with the Gambling Commission, it would not be appropriate to comment on this independent and confidential process.”

That evening, BBC Newsnight reported that “up to 15 Conservative candidates and officials are being scrutinised for alleged betting on the timing of the general election”.

How many police officers are being investigated over the political gambling row?

A police officer in Mr Sunak’s close protection team was arrested on 17 June on suspicion of misconduct in public office after the betting watchdog contacted the force.

According to the Met, the officer – who is from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command – was taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries. He has been suspended and the case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The Met confirmed on 25 June that five more police officers are being investigated over alleged bets on the date of the election.

A Met Police spokesman said the five latest officers have not been arrested, but confirmed the force’s directorate of professional standards has been informed, The Mirror reported.

The spokesman added: “Decisions on whether they will be subject to any restrictions will be taken in due course.”

Are any Labour members being investigated?

Kevin Craig, who is running to become the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has been suspended by the party over separate betting claims.

Sky News reported on Tuesday that the candidate had bet he would lose the contest and that the Gambling Commission had an investigation into him.

Labour confirmed Mr Craig had been suspended by the party, but due to the election being next week, he will still appear on the ballot paper with “Labour” next to his name.

He said in a statement on X: “While I did not place this bet with any prior knowledge of the outcome, this was a huge mistake, for which I apologise unreservedly”, adding: “I deeply regret what I have done and will take the consequences of this stupid error of judgement on the chin.”

Cabinet minister ‘placed two unsuccessful bets’ and is ‘not under investigation’ by regulator

The BBC has also reported that shortly after Mr Sunak announced the election date on 22 May, the Scottish Secretary and member of the Scottish Conservatives Alister Jack told the broadcaster he had made £2,100 after betting on June and July election dates.

But he later said the comments were “a joke… I was pulling your leg”.

And Mr Jack said in a statement on 25 June: “Following reports today I want to be absolutely clear I have not breached any gambling rules. I placed two unsuccessful bets on the date of the general election and one successful one. I put two bets in March of £5 each for an election to be held in May and June respectively. In April, I put £20 at 5 to 1 on an election being held between July and September.

“I had no knowledge of the date of the election until the day it was called.

“As I have said previously, I placed no bets in May and am not under investigation by the Gambling Commission.”

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