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Former MP Denies Wrongdoing in Election Betting Scandal



Former MP Denies Wrongdoing in Election Betting Scandal

Craig Williams faces scrutiny after placing a £100 bet on the general election date, now investigated by the Gambling Commission. (Image: Imageplotter / Alamy)

A former MP who allegedly had inside information as one of Rishi Sunak’s aides has denied any wrongdoing in relation to a bet he placed on the date of a General Election.

Conservative candidate Craig Williams is alleged to have placed a £100 bet on a July election, something he has subsequently said was “a huge error of judgment.”  

No Further Comment from MP 

The former MP for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr was doorstepped by the BBC and asked if he had inside information. The MP replied that the matter was now being investigated by the Gambling Commission and that he could not expand on a statement he had already given.  

A former Prime Minister, Lord Cameron, has said “It was clearly a very foolish decision”.  

Mr. Williams remains on the ballot paper for the seat and senior Conservative politicians have warned that he now faces the consequences of his actions on the doorstep and the investigation by the Gambling Commission.  

Former Shadow Secretary for Wales Dame Nia Griffith MP told, “Craig Williams’ role meant that he was working very closely day in day out with Rishi Sunak. He was privy to many important conversations, so voters in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr may well be shocked to learn that their Conservative candidate splashed out £100 on what he thought was a safe bet.”

Bet A Bad Decision in Hindsight 

Following the revelation of his gamble, Mr. Williams posted in X: “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.” 

Politicians Stick the Boot In 

Opposition politicians have been quick to stick the boot into Mr. Williams, as one would expect at such a turning point in British politics with the outcome of the 2024 general election only weeks away.  

Welsh Labour’s Stephen Kinnock labelled the situation “utterly extraordinary”. 

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts told the BBC: “It begs the questions of what Mr Williams’ judgement was in relation to putting a date on what we presume to be the general election.” 

Gambling Commission Will Decide Outcome 

Under any investigation conducted by the Gambling Commission, they will be looking for unfair advantage. The rules clearly state that  

The confidential use of 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. 

Could Technology Prevent Use of Inside Information?  

This case begs the question of whether some checks need to be put in place to bar politicians and sportspeople from betting on outcomes. A simple questionnaire before a bet is placed might suffice. Something as simple as ‘Are you a serving politician’? Technology is more than capable of coming up with a solution; however, until then, MPs and sportspeople must read and follow the rules and laws on gambling. 

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