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‘Are You A Betting Man?’: Sky News Presenter Leaves Top Tory Squirming Over Gambling Scandal

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‘Are You A Betting Man?’: Sky News Presenter Leaves Top Tory Squirming Over Gambling Scandal

A cabinet minister was left squirming after being asked “are you a betting man” as the Tory gambling scandal intensifies.

The Gambling Commission has reportedly expanded its investigation into whether senior Conservatives placed bets on the date of the election.

Two Tory candidates, the party’s director of campaigns, its chief data officer and one of Rishi Sunak’s close protection officers are currently under investigation.

The prime minister has been criticised by fellow Conservatives for not suspending the candidates involved – one of whom, Craig Williams, has admitted having “a flutter” on when the election would happen.

On Sky News this morning, presenter Matt Barbet asked Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris: “Are you a betting man?

After a short pause, Heaton-Harris said: “Not really.”

The presenter then asked: “What do you think about people who are?”

The minister replied: “I don’t mind people who have a bet on things they have no knowledge about, which is what most gamblers do.

“I know what you’re referring to. The Gambling Commission are actually looking into this, as they stated over the weekend – that there’s an ongoing investigation, that they weren’t going to comment on it, and they didn’t want to confirm or deny any names.”

Barbet then asked why the Tories had not suspended the party figures involved while the probe is continuing, pointing out that one of those accused – former Sunak aide Craig Williams – has admitted putting a bet on.

Heaton-Harris said: “When the Gambling Commission report back, as the prime minister has said, if people are found guilty of doing something that is incorrect, then they’ll be kicked out the party.”

But Barbet replied: “But why not suspend them in the meantime? A couple of your officials have taken a leave of absence and the police officer accused of this has been suspended. So why is it a different rule for Conservative Party electoral candidates?”

The minister again repeated the line that the Gambling Commission is looking into it and the party will respond to what they conclude.

Later in the interview, Barbet told Heaton-Harris: “Maybe, with a view on the Conservatives not winning because the polls certainly suggest that, maybe some of your colleagues just wanted a few quid in their pocket?”

Heaton-Harris replied: “If the Gambling Commission find that, then that lowers them in my estimation an unbelievable quantity.”

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