UK police officer arrested over alleged bets on election timing

BBC reported the officer worked as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s close protection team

By Reuters
June 20, 2024
A UK police official stands guard near Downing Street, in London, UK. — Reuters/File

LONDON: A police officer working in a special protection unit has been arrested over alleged bets made on the timing of Britain’s national election next month, London police said on Wednesday.

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The BBC reported the officer worked as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s close protection team.

The Metropoliton Police said it was contacted by Britain’s betting regulator, the Gambling Commission, on Friday over an investigation into “alleged bets made by a Police Constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, which were related to the timing of the General Election”.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards opened an investigation and the officer was suspended, it said. He was then arrested on Monday on suspicion of misconduct in public office and taken into custody before being bailed.

Sunak’s Conservative Party campaign team said the issue was a matter for the police.

Last week a British lawmaker and close aide to Sunak apologised after he placed a bet on when the election would happen, also triggering an investigation by the gambling regulator.

The Guardian reported Craig Williams, who is standing for a parliamentary seat in Wales, bet 100 pounds that Sunak would call an election for July, just days before he did. Williams stood to win 500 pounds, the report said. He has said he made an error of judgement.

The July 4 date of the vote came as a surprise to most lawmakers and voters, who had expected an autumn election.

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