Rishi Sunak Protection Officer Arrested for Alleged Betting Offences

Rishi Sunak A member of the British Prime Minister’s close protection team was detained by the police over alleged betting offences on Monday, 17 June. As the BBC reported, the wagering activity was about the date of the upcoming general election.

Mr. Sunak announced on 22 May that the Parliament election was scheduled for 4 July, a piece of strictly confidential information that has left much of the public and the PM’s Conservative Party aghast.

Subsequently, the arrested protection officer, whose name remained unknown, was released on bail and dismissed from his duties while the investigation was underway. Last Friday, the UK Gambling Commission contacted the Metropolitan Police with a notification that it was looking into a suspicion of misconduct in public office.

As the Met confirmed, the matter has been referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Founded in 2018, the IOPC is a non-departmental public authority, tasked with monitoring complaints against police forces in England and Wales.

The ongoing police investigation into the alleged betting offences is running simultaneously with the one handled by the Gambling Commission. In a recent statement concerning the case, the gambling regulatory body affirmed its commitment to regulating “gambling in the interests of consumers and the wider public.”

While betting is a very popular form of entertainment in the UK, with markets covering everything from sports and entertainment to politics, cheating by using inside information is deemed a criminal offence.

The Conservative Party Is Involved in Another Betting Scandal

Craig Williams Last week, one of the PM’s closest parliamentary aides admitted he was subjected to investigation by the Gambling Commission for alleged political bets on the election date. Craig Williams who is standing for re-election in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, was alleged to have placed a £100 wager through Ladbrokes on the general election day, just three days before Mr. Sunak revealed the exact date. The politician confirmed the Commission was making “some routine inquiries” and pledged his cooperation.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr. Williams declined to comment further, as it was an “independent process”. He also said he was unwilling “to be a distraction from the campaign.” He added: “All I can say was it was a huge error of judgment. A huge error of judgment and I won’t be adding to the statement I’ve already made.”

The Prime Minister refused any comments on whether Mr. Williams knew the election date: “’Given the nature of the inquiry, which is confidential and independent, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment while that inquiry is ongoing.’

A spokesperson of the UK Gambling Commission also commented on the case. The official, however, neither confirmed nor denied an investigation was underway, as per the regulator’s policy. He explained that using confidential information for betting “may constitute an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence”.

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Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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