Can the Tories Sink ANy Lower

We might not have realised it at the time, but that day last month when Rishi Sunak announced the General Election was probably the high point of the Tory campaign. Incredibly, since he emerged on the steps of Downing Street, his suit soaked by the rain, his speech drowned out by a Labour Party anthem being blasted by activists just down the street, things have only got worse for our beleaguered prime minister. Practically every week of the election has given voters a new reason to turn their backs on the Tories – from the wildcard entrance of Nigel Farage to Sunak’s D-Day snub, arguably the worst political blunder of recent times.

The latest headache for the UK prime minister is the election-betting scandal. Last week, Sunak aide Craig Williams revealed that he is being investigated by the Gambling Commission, accused of placing a winning bet on the date of the election, three days before it was announced publicly. As if by some miracle, he correctly guessed that polling day would be on 4 July. This week, it emerged that Tony Lee, the Tories’ director of campaigning, is also being investigated, alongside his wife, Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West. At this stage, it is not known when they are alleged to have placed a bet or for how much. If that wasn’t enough, one of the PM’s personal protection officers has been arrested for his own alleged flutter on the election date, as part of a separate investigation.

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As the Gambling Commission points out, using confidential information in order to gain an unfair advantage when betting ‘may constitute an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence’. All four of the accused have agreed to cooperate with the respective inquiries.

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